Seeds Marks a Milestone with Silver Jubilee Anniversary Event
*Presented in part by Carnegie Management & Development Corporation*
On Friday, May 19, more than 200 people attended Seeds of Literacy’s Silver Jubilee at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The special event, commemorating 25 years of adult literacy efforts by the organization, was held at the Zoo’s Stillwater Place.
The location wasn’t the only thing new to Seeds – the event also featured the premiere of a new testimonial video*, a 360 photo booth**, a wine pull, signature drink, cocktails by the carousel, and the Backtraxx Band.
The event also featured a moving speech from current student SHAKEIYA EDWARDS, who had tears in her eyes as she talked about how important the program has been in her life. She was a tough act to follow, but her tutor ROY HULME did his best, urging guests to tutor (and open their wallets).
Before closing the program, Board Chair JONATHAN KHOURI shared his own experience as a donor and a tutor at Seeds, applauding the 124 graduates this fiscal year so far (still a month to go!) and highlighting the largest annual enrollment in Seeds of Literacy’s history.
Virtual Site Coordinator TODD SEABROOK challenged the audience to raise $11,000 – the cost Seeds would spend if we covered every GED test for students that couldn’t afford the $10 test fee. Beginning this summer, the student’s portion of each section increases to $16 – an increase that is prohibitive for many adult learners.
The call to action (and the wine pull that followed) exceeded that goal, raising $13,473 in just 20 minutes.
A PROUD HISTORY
SISTER KATHLEEN KLBANE, the founder of Seeds, received a standing ovation when current President & CEO BONNIE ENTLER thanked her for creating a program that continues to grow and change so many lives.
Seeds was formed in 1997 by Sister Kathleen, honoring the Congregation of St. Joseph’s 125 years of service to the Cleveland Diocese.
“The Sisters were resolute in creating a program that recognized the dignity, worth, and unique ability of every student. This vision remains today and continues to set Seeds apart in our work and our accomplishments,” Bonnie said.
Sister Kathleen remained at the helm for the first five years, before Bonnie took over and spearheaded Seeds of Literacy’s move to become a separate 501(c)3 organization.
The rest of the evening was dedicated to fun and friendship. Guests enjoyed signature cocktails on the veranda, warmed by the fireplace and overlooking Stillwater’s fountain. Inside, the BackTraxx band performed everyone’s favorite hits, and kept guests on the dancefloor. For many guests, it was their first experience with a 360 photo booth and they lined up to get a turn.
“This event was an opportunity to celebrate the past and introduce new people to Seeds to secure our future,” Bonnie said. “I think we accomplished both of those goals, as well as achieving the highest fundraising target to date. We could not have done it without our Board and the sponsors supporting this event. Thank you.”
Special thanks to the following for donating their services to the Silver Jubilee:
- All About You Event Planning – for the 360 Photo Booth
- Aramark – for the dessert and coffee table
- Classic Teleproductions – for creating a new testimonial video
- Petiti Garden Center – for generously donating more than 50 potted plants that decorated the ballroom
THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS!
Carnegie Management & Development Corporation
With support from
- First Energy
- The David and Inez Myers Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland
Also sponsored in part by
- The Company
- Cerity Partners
- Hastings Water Works
- The Huntington National Bank
- HKM Direct Market Solutions
- Jones Day
- George & Pat Miller
- Panzica Construction
- Planned Financial Services
- Bala Ramachandran & Anuradha Viswanathan
- Thompson Hine LLP
- Tucker Ellis LLP
- Liz and Ken Voskuhl
- Westfield Insurance Foundation
- Mark Yanochko
With contributions from
- Mike & Louise Benz
- Catherine & Kevin Butler
- Cleveland Foundation
- Integrity Power Search
- Sarah & Jonathan Khouri
- NRP Group
- Reminger Co. LPA
- Heather Richmond
- Roetzel & Andress
- Saint Ignatius High School