The hour was early… but there was a buzz in the room. On March 27, 2014, over 200 guests from businesses, service clubs, agencies, JBLM, schools and the general public came together for the benefit breakfast at Old Country Buffet in support of Communities In Schools of Lakewood (CISL).
Elected officials, including Senator Steve O’Ban, Representative Dick Muri, retired Senator Rose Parks, Lakewood and Pierce County council members were in attendance. Superintendent Debbie LeBeau, Pierce College Chancellor, Dr. Michele Johnson, Fire Chief, Jim Sharp, and JBLM Commander Col. Chuck Hodges Jr. also attended the annual Champions For Youth Breakfast.
This annual breakfast highlights the impact CISL has in supporting 1500 Clover Park students each year. The $21,000 raised at the event will strengthen and expand After-School, Mentor and Readiness-to-Learn programs. Thirteen sponsors were generous with each providing $500 or more in underwriting this year’s breakfast.
Keynote speaker, Brandon Stodsgill, author of the book, “The Boy with a Gun: From Incarceration to Higher Education”, spoke passionately about the importance of surrounding young people with caring adults who can encourage them to pursue their dreams. Executive Director, Dave O’Keeffe emphasized the importance of close collaboration with school staff and the value that community partners add to schools. Thirty-five partners are currently active participants with CISL to “surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life”.
Champions Mentor Coordinator, Leah Livingston, recognized Kathryn VanWagenen and her mentee, Jacinda Farnsworth, for being the 100th active mentor match for Clover Park students, a milestone made possible by Leah’s leadership in the Champions Mentor Program. Livingston was recently honored as a national Unsung Hero by the CIS national office which was noted by a video of her work with Tillicum students.
Emcee, Walter Neary, brought the breakfast to a conclusion urging guests to support the work of CISL programs by volunteering or donating funds. Just one hour a week can make a big difference with a student who needs additional support at school. To volunteer or make a contribution, call 589-7489 or visit the website, www.lakewood.ciswa.org
Again, thanks to all of the individuals and sponsors who contributed at the breakfast in support of our Lakewood youth.