Join us on June 11, 2009 as we honor Senator John Cullerton, President, Illinois State Senate, Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, Chief Education Officer, Chicago Public Schools and Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, Senior Vice President Public Affairs & Government Relations, The Nielsen Company, during our Eighth Annual Open Book Lightbearer Benefit Gala 2009. The event will be held in Macy’s Narcissus Room, 111 N. State Street in Chicago. The Gala begins with a Champagne Reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Dinner & Awards Ceremony at 7:00 p.m. and Entertainment & Dancing at 9 p.m. Tickets are $150. For more information, contact 773-924-9802 or visit www.openbookprogram.org.
This year's Lightbearer Gala will be emceed by Zoraida Sambolin from NBC-5. In keeping with IPL’s commitment to children’s literacy, the Lightbearer Gala will also feature performances by IPL’s Open Book Program participants. Gala goes will dance to the sounds of Gentlemen of Leisure Band.
“Join us for great food, great entertainment, great dancing, a great time—and a chance to benefit IPL’s Open Book Program,” states IPL President Marrice Coverson. “The Institute for Positive Living's Open Book Program is proud to honor these three outstanding individuals who share the belief that children should be encouraged to enjoy the art of reading. Our honorees and their respective organizations are among those who support IPL’s programs like Open Book that encourage the development of reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. We are also proud to showcase the creative work of our young participants. We believe that knowledge is the possibility of finding your own truth.”
IPL’s core program is Open Book, a multi-faceted after-school program for young adolescents that engages youth in activities that encourage development of their reading, writing and critical thinking skills. Open Book is currently funded at eleven Chicago public schools: Armstrong Elementary School, Copernicus Elementary, Gregory Elementary, Henderson Elementary, Mayo Elementary School, Nicholson Elementary, Reed Elementary, Penn Elementary, University of Chicago-Donoghue, White Career Academy, and Williams Multiplex. Another Open Book site serves the youth of Lawless Gardens. Other IPL programs include Book Club Mentoring and Entrepreneurship Training.
Co-Chairs for this year’s Lightbearer Gala are Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter and Mr. Everett Rand.
The Lightbearer Host Committee includes: Sharon K. Ali, Linda Baker, Honorable Will Burns, Hon. Pat Dowell, Craig Gilmore, Daryl Handy, Craig Huffman, Nadine Dillanado, Honorable Ken Dunkin, Michael Fountain, Honorable Esther Golar, Ralph Hughes, Leroy Kennedy, Honorable Terry Link, Honorable Iris Martinez, Sonya R. Malunda, Lisa L. Montgomery, Frances Oden, Theresa Rhea, Francine Washington, David Whittaker, Paul Williams, Esq., Clarence Woods and Timothy Wright, Esq.
Past Lightbearer honorees have included: Sam Balark, Director, External Affairs, AT&T, Lee Brown, former Area Instructional Officer for the Chicago Public School System, The Church of The Spirit, John Clark, President/CEO, Reggio’s Pizza, Alderman Shirley E. Coleman, 16th Ward, Lester N. Coney, Executive Vice President, Mesirow Financial, Merri Dee, Director of Community Relations, WGN-TV, Amina Dickerson, Senior Director of corporate contributions for Kraft Foods, Tommy Ford, children's book author and actor, Frank Gihan, Director of Community Relations, Chicago Tribune Charities, Wallace E. Goode, University of Chicago, Daryl Handy/President, Lakefront Management LLC, Elzie Higginbottom, CEO/President, East Lake Management, Theresa (TeeSee) Fambro Hooks, columnist for the Chicago Defender, Ralph Hughes, Regional Director, Marshall Fields State Street (now Macy’s), State Senator Mattie Hunter, Senate Majority Leader Emil Jones, Susan Levy, R.R. Donnelley and Sons, Doug Mabie, Springboard Foundation, Erwin McEwen, Director, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Frederick McNeal Jr., Principal of Mayo Elementary School, Joe Moore, Manager, Community Relations, Shell Oil, Darryl Newell, President, 100 Black Men of Chicago, Phillip Nyden, Professor of Sociology and Director of Urban Research and Learning, Loyola University Chicago, Frances Odem, Principal, Williams Multiplex, Louanner Peters, Deputy Governor-Illinois, Styron Powers, BP Amoco, Wynona Redmond, Pubic Relations Manager for Dominick's Finer Foods, Zoraida Sambolin, Anchor for NBC-Channel 5, Hosea Sanders, Michael W. Scott, President, Michael Scott & Associates, Past President, Chicago Public Schools Board, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Author and Illustrator, ABC-7 Chicago, and David Whittaker, Executive Director, Chicago Area Project.
“We are grateful to the many people who continue to make the Lightbearer Gala a memorable evening,” states Coverson. “As our attendance continues to grow, we thank our friends and supporters, as well as the local media who help us tell our story. Mostly, we thank the youth who participate in the Open Book program, celebrating reading and children’s literacy every day.”
For more information, please call 773-924-9803 or 773-924-9802.
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