Friday, May 5, 2017

MTE EdFUND Luncheon May 3, 2017

The second annual was a success! Approximately 125 people attended, the keynote by Carmita Semann was stellar, three scholarship recipients shared the story of their coming out of homelessness to finding independence and are proud of their excellent grades in college thanks to La Casa Norte and The More Than Ever Education Fund. 

Michael spoke briefly and then presented the North Shore Exchange with the first annual Gregory Maire Leadership Award. Following is the text of Michael's presentation including a 3-minute video of Michael and Gregory discussing the MTE EdFUND. Photos will be posted at a future date.


MTE EdFUND Luncheon- Wednesday 5/3/16
😀
Howard, Members of the Board, Sol, Staff and Volunteers of La Casa Norte … all of the young people here today … Family, Friends, Colleagues.
I want to share my comments with you today by COUNTING just a few of the ways I am GRATEFUL to La Casa Norte … and GRATEFUL to you!
😀 NUMBER ONE 
Last year, at the inaugural MORE THAN EVER EDUCATION FUND Luncheon in May 2016, we raised over $59,000 … and presented 3 scholarship awards. 
Last December at our first annual holiday cohort celebration - we saw 6 more scholarship awards given, laptop computers gifted, and free housing contracts signed - bringing the number of student participants to 9. 
😀 NUMBER TWO
I am OVERJOYED to be standing here before you again … a quick year later … at the SECOND ANNUAL  MORE THAN EVER EDUCATION FUND Luncheon. 
Today will find a total of 15 deserving students with scholarship awards and more, AND we couldn’t be more proud of these young people, who you will get to meet later.
😀 NUMBER THREE
As a brief recap … twelve years ago … during the 29th year of Gregory’s and my … 41-year relationship … we received the diagnosis of Gregory’s having Dementia, most likely Alzheimer’s Disease. 
Knowing that the road ahead would be a difficult one, we recommitted our love to each other saying, “I  love you … NOW … MORE THAN EVER.” Thus the name of this fund …
😀 NUMBER FOUR
Much like people talk about what they would do if they won the lottery …  MANY YEARS ago, when Gregory and I were YOUNG …we talked about wishing we were able to help others in a significant way. 
We talked about how this would look and decided that probably the best way to help was through supporting young people who were seeking to better themselves through an education … but who could not afford to do so.
Shortly before he died, when Gregory and I re-visited our finances and investments, we realized that NOW THAT WE WERE OLD, we WERE in the position of doing good for others, to pay forward our own good fortune.
Gregory and I have been involved with La Casa Norte … about to celebrate its 15th anniversary of doing good works … almost since its inception. With one call to Sol Flores, Executive Director of La Casa Norte, the MORE THAN EVER EDUCATION FUND was born.
😀 NUMBER FIVE
Let's watch this three-minute video which documents a conversation about the fund, which I had with Gregory approximately six months before he died. You may notice that it is oversimplified, but at the time, that was the best Gregory was able to do.

Wow, a hard act to follow! 
Back to counting how grateful I am …
😀 NUMBER SIX
The fund we are here to celebrate today is described as “established by Gregory L. Maire and Michael A. Horvich.” 
Over time the Gregory Maire Scholarship Fund will be ONLY ONE of MANY funds under this umbrella. 
When I leave this world, you will see a second, the Michael Horvich Scholarship Fund.
With support FROM PEOPLE LIKE YOU and support from the business, religious, education, and social services communities … there will be MANY funds under this amazing umbrella legacy whose DEEDS will speak to the great potential available to La Casa Norte in providing educational opportunities to deserving young people. 
I invite YOU … TO JOIN US under the MORE THAN EVER EDUCATION PROGRAM UMBRELLA - by establishing and naming a fund of your own! 
Speak with Sol or me to find out how you might go about this.
😀 And last in my list of counting gratitudes, NUMBER SEVEN
Please raise your glass and join me in a TOAST.
1) …TO ALL OF YOU … who have supported today’s second annual celebration of the MORE THAN EVER EDUCATION FUND
2) …TO A LONG LIFE for the fund for many years to come and it's ability to provide educational opportunities to young people confronting homelessness 
3)… TO LA CASA NORTE for all their good works 
4) … TO the  YOUNG PEOPLE here today and those who will be joining this adventure in the future … taking our support and love with them … as they study hard and met success in their endeavors
 … and lastly 
5) … TO GREGORY … Who in many ways has made this all possible. 
Thank you so much for being here today and for your support.
😀
Next, it is my pleasure and honor to present the FIRST ANNUAL Gregory Maire Leadership Award. In addition to the scholarship fund, this award is also part of his legacy to the future and is presented to others who, like himself, have led the way for change and opportunity. 
I can think of NO BETTER RECIPIENT of the Gregory Maire Leadership Award … than … NORTH SHORE EXCHANGE. 
Many of you may know of North Shore Exchange, in fact, you may have shopped there. The North Shore Exchange is Glencoe's nonprofit resale boutique offering an edited collection of upscale and luxury designer women's clothing and accessories, as well as beautiful furniture and home décor. 
What you may not know is that ALL of their profits support organizations providing human services for children and families. 
Since opening in March 2013, they have given away $700,000 in funds to well-deserving charities. 
La Casa Norte was an early recipient of North Shore Exchange’s generosity and has continued to receive grants from them over the years to support our programming. 
Last year, North Shore Exchange deepened their commitment to La Casa Norte by increasing their support to help expand the Youth in College program, the very program that works with the MORE THAN EVER scholarship recipients. 
We are deeply grateful for the partnership we have in North Shore Exchange. 
It is my honor to present the 2017 Gregory Maire Leadership award to North Shore Exchange Board President, Wendy Serrino and North Shore Exchange Philanthropy Chair Scott Javore.

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