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On the brink of it’s centennial celebration of service to the Greater Cincinnati community, Ohio Valley Goodwill was pleased to welcome almost 200 of its closest friends to its 2015 Board-sponsored holiday luncheon on Friday, December 11th at the Sharonville Convention Center. Among the many special guests were State Representative John Becker, Joe Abner, Aide to Congressman Chabot, Alan Geans, Woodlawn Village Manager as well as Clermont County Board Superintendent Dan Ottke. This year’s honored guests enjoyed the seasonal music provided by the Laura Hazelbacker Trio as well as the holiday-themed menu with delicious assorted desserts.
Goodwill President and CEO Joe Byrum began this year’s program by recognizing the Sharonville Convention Center and Ovations Catering for not only the excellent meal enjoyed by today’s honored guests but also for their support and sponsorship of the annual Homeless Awareness Holiday dinner event. “We are very grateful to the Sharonville Convention Center and Ovations Catering for their wonderful generosity and incredible effort in making the annual Homeless Awareness Holiday dinner possible,” said Joe Byrum, President and CEO. “Thanks to your generous support, hundreds of families and children will enjoy a delicious holiday meal in a festive atmosphere who would not ordinarily have this opportunity.”
This year’s program began with a formal check presentation to Ohio Valley Goodwill in support of its programs and services from the organization’s volunteer Service Guild. The group of dedicated volunteers operate the Treasure Island Gift Shop and conduct a number of fund-raising events throughout the year in order to support Goodwill’s mission. This year, Guild President Sue Burreson, presented three separate checks. The first check presentation was to Lois Kramer, CARE Program Supervisor, in the amount of $1000 to support the individuals served through the award-winning Center for Advocacy, Recreation and Education (CARE).
The second check presentation was presented to Charlie Blythe, Grants Director for Goodwill’s Veterans Services programs and was in the amount of $5000. The final check presentation was to Joe Byrum, President and CEO, and was in the amount of $20,000. “I’m always so grateful to the Guild for their hard work and commitment to Ohio Valley Goodwill and the people we serve,” said Byrum. “We really count on their support every year and appreciate their volunteerism on behalf of our mission.”
The 2015 holiday luncheon also served as a tenure recognition ceremony for six members of the Goodwill staff team that have been with the organization for 20 years. Roger Casey, Joseph Dickow, Errol Long, Leslie McCurley, Donald Mowery and Dashonda Thomas were all recognized for their service and received a leather jacket in celebration of their dedication to Goodwill and its mission.
President and CEO, Joe Byrum remarked to the assembled guests that 2015 marks the organization’s 99th year of service to the Greater Cincinnati community. “It is astonishing to realize that in the past 99 years, tens of thousands of people with disabilities and our nation’s veterans have been helped to get jobs in our community. It is thanks to the generous support of all of our partners, friends, team members, board of directors and the public that our mission is made possible and we are very grateful,” added Byrum. Next year will mark the organization’s centennial celebration and appropriately, the 2016 Holiday Luncheon will include some special surprise features that will make it a memorable occasion for all of the attendees.
In traditional fashion, the 2015 Goodwill Holiday Luncheon event closed with a special video presentation produced by Public Information Officer, Michael Flannery, which featured comedic spotlights of Goodwill team members singing along with holiday carol as well as a very touching video featuring the amazing people that the organization works with every day. Ohio Valley Goodwill is grateful to all for their on-going support of the organization’s critical mission of putting people to work in our community. Happy Holiday Wishes to all!
Please see the photo gallery below, and click on the images for full-size views.