Actress Holly Robinson-Peete and husband, NFL veteran, Rodney Peete were honored at the 365Black Awards presented by McDonald’s during the ESSENCE Music Festival. The Peete’s were honored for their philanthropic work with the HollyRod foundation which focuses on children’s causes. Also honored were army Lt. General Russel L. Honore, historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and National Black McDonald’s Operator’s Association CEO Rita Mack. On her way to receiving her award, Holly spoke with ESSENCE.com about the importance of giving back and how she and Rodney maintain their relationship after 15 years of marriage. On her way to receiving her award, Holly spoke with ESSENCE.com about the importance of giving back and how she and Rodney maintain their relationship after 15 years of marriage. On giving back: “We have to, we don’t feel complete unless we give back. Marian Wright Edelman, one of my favorite child advocates said service is the rent you pay for living and there’s something about resonates in our family. It’s important to us and we feel so much better when we do. We do for other people, of course, but we also do it for our ourselves.” On making their marriage work: HOLLY ROBINSON PEETE: “We make sure to spend time together alone. If we’re on a business trip, like we are here in New Orleans, we get a little champagne in the room. We just celebrated 15 years a couple of weeks ago and we know it’s a blessing, but it takes work and we’re both willing to put the work in because what you get is so tremendous. And we have a special needs child so we have a lot of responsibility. I feel like we’re business partners in a way, the family business.” RODNEY PEETE: “It’s about having trust and respect for one another, it’s laying out the ground rules before we got married. We know what the expectations are supposed to be and that’s what’s kept us together. We have fun together, we have date nights and do things that we did when we didn’t have kids. We keep the spark.”
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