Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

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YWCA “Circle 2017”


More than 600 people turned out in support of the YWCA for the ninth annual Circle 2017 presented for the first time in the evening at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The event’s purpose was to support NIA- Nurturing Independence and Aspiration at YWCA Greater Cleveland, a national and local leader in the prevention of homelessness. Circle raised over $270,000 in support of the YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women.

Guests enjoyed food by Bon Appetit, with a menu presented by Doug Katz, and PNC was the presenting sponsor along with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Rascal House Pizza and VOCA.

Highlighting the event were presentations by Margaret Mitchell, president and CEO of YWCA Greater Cleveland, Youth Leader Sonia Emerson who spoke of her experiences as a youth in transition; as well as honorary chairperson Savannah James and keynote speaker Leigh Anne Tuohy, whose family’s inspirational journey was the subject of the movie “The Blind Side.”

Ms. Mitchell explained that the YWCA works with youth who are homeless and age out of foster care. “We are not afraid to use the L word,” she said of Love. She noted that up to 80 percent of young people who have come to the YWCA have come out of homelessness and build family around them.”

Ms. Emerson shared with the audience that she was in and out of 18 foster homes since she was two years old and how she overcame so much.

Ms. James, a pioneering philanthropist and Akron native said that “knowing someone believes in you is a game changer.”

Ms. Tuohy said the YWCA is “moving the needle and making a difference.” She spoke of her and her family’s adoption of Michael Oher, who society deemed “valueless.”

The NIA works with youth, young adults, and young families who are in transition from homelessness into sustained self-sufficiency through personalized services, relationship-based case support and abundant inspiration. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY SUE REID



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