Snapshots from a curtailed summer

Rey of Light scholarship benefit a virtual success

Despite a pandemic, campus closure and the uncharted path of hosting a virtual event, DePaul Cristo Rey’s largest fundraiser, Rey of Light, was a virtual success – raising more than $500,000 to support the school’s financial aid fund.

The dinner and auction was originally scheduled for April 18. When the pandemic forced the cancellation of the in-person event, co-chairs Cindy and Andrew Howell and Barb and Joe Rohs led the planning committee to pivot to the virtual platform. All event sponsors remained committed, which contributed significantly to the virtual success, including presenting sponsors: FastPark & Relax, a Friend of DPCR, Heidt Family Foundation, Key Bank, and the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.

Over the past eight years, Rey of Light has raised $3.5 million for the financial aid fund that supports every DePaul Cristo Rey student.

DePaul Cristo Rey, sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, offers a nationally recognized, dual-focus education model to students whose families need financial assistance to afford a private, college preparatory program.

Easterseals raise $32K for Military & Veteran Services

Former Bengals offensive lineman Dave Lapham and fellow broadcaster Dan Hoard joined forces to help Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati raise more than $32,000 for the agency’s Military & Veteran Services.

The Lappy Hour event also showcased how Easterseals Military & Veteran Services supports veterans who have faced struggles in their civilian lives. Pam Green, president and CEO of Easterseals in Cincinnati, shared how the organization has provided more than $11 million in total benefits to the veteran community since 2012, including:

  • Providing emergency support for more than 3,000 local veterans 
  • Placing more 850 veterans in employment 
  • Helping more than 100 veterans experiencing homelessness find housing  
  • Providing education and certifications to over 150 veterans with disabilities

Scott Robinson, director of Easterseals Military & Veteran Services, shared part of the Easterseals playbook for serving veterans. That includes serving ALL veterans, regardless of their discharge status or age, at no cost to the veteran.

“Right now, over 3,000 local veterans are unemployed and struggling to support their families,” Robinson said. “In this region, over 900 veterans are currently homeless. That’s why, we continue to work with veterans to secure and retain employment.”

The team works with more than 200 local businesses and community partners, including the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and the City of Cincinnati. Easterseals Military & Veteran Services has seen a 525% increase in demand for services since 2017, which makes community support and philanthropy so important to providing essential services and resources. 

Presenting Sponsor: Western and Southern Financial 

Giving Voice Foundation raises $20,000 to support Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers

With in-person events falling victim to the pandemic, the forces behind the 5th Annual Mimosas for Memories got creative. If you can’t have brunch in person, make a picnic brunch to go!

Christian and Cody Gausvik

With sponsors and a venue that stuck with them, Dr. Christian Gausvik and his husband Cody Gausvik, founders of the Giving Voice Foundation, re-imagined their signature event and provided a terrific brunch to go. 

Each guest received quiche, bacon, fruit, pastries, juice, macarons from the Macaron Bar, and a bottle of champagne, all boxed up and ready to hit one’s favorite socially distanced picnic spot. The University Club downtown provided a safe and convenient way for guests to pick up their brunch and head to their favorite picnic location. 

According to Dr. Gausvik, the results were “Beyond our wildest dreams. We managed to raise just over $20,000. From what might have been a total loss came an amazing success and reminder that the Cincinnati community does not let anything stand in our way.” 

Proceeds from the event will benefit a variety of initiatives aimed at improving the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s, including The Lunch Break, a program offered in partnership with The Christ Hospital Health and Aging Center and Queen City Home Care to provide respite services to caregivers of loved ones battling Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Not wanting to let down the patient community and community of caregivers, the Gausviks wanted the event to proceed because “this was and still is about connecting and conversation. Our foundation is founded on that mission: to inspire cross-generational conversations to improve the healthcare of older adults. As each of you picked up your brunch-to-go, we got a bit of connection, even if only half your face was showing, and it energized our mission knowing you all were out connected (socially distanced) and talking about things that matter and affect the important older people in your lives.”

People Working Cooperatively rakes in $230K at virtual ToolBelt Ball

People Working Cooperatively hosted its fourth annual ToolBelt Ball, virtually, in June. The online program, emceed by Craig McKee of WCPO, included a virtual happy hour, auction, raffles, bourbon and wine pull, and paddle raiser. Net proceeds from the virtual gala are expected to be more than $230,000. Funds raised will be used to support the nonprofit’s Modifications for Mobility program, which assists low-income, elderly homeowners and people with disabilities who have mobility limitations in the Tri-State area. 

Jock Pitts

“When we first postponed ToolBelt Ball in March, we were challenged with how we were going to continue to meet the growing need for modifications without our annual gala in light of the pandemic,” said Jock Pitts, PWC president and CEO. “Our pivot to a virtual fundraiser, and the support of our donors, partners and sponsors, allows us to continue to serve those who need our help the most. With more than 300 homeowners on our waiting list, every dollar counts.”

PWC will be able to complete modification services for several of those families using proceeds from this year’s ToolBelt Ball. These services could include the construction of handicapped-accessible ramps, the installation of chair/stair lifts, and bathroom modifications that improved daily mobility and independence for clients across the region.

Mike and Gail Viox at a previous PWC fundraiser

“Planning a virtual fundraiser was a learning experience for the planning committee,” said Mike and Gail Viox, ToolBelt Ball co-chairs. “While we would have never imagined these circumstances, we’re honored to be a part of a team that rose to the challenge so that we are able to continue serving clients who rely on PWC to stay safe and healthy in their homes.”

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