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2018 Thrive! Celebrating Student Success & Stakeholder Impact

On Friday, November 9, 2018, Seeds of Literacy held its inaugural *Thrive* luncheon event at the Cleveland Union Club.

The event was made possible by these generous supporters, and a few who chose to remain anonymous.

New tutor Nathan Migal provided in-kind support as the event photographer and the *Thrive* Tree design was created by volunteer Jim Van Hise of Kuno Creative.

165 guests filled the ball room.

Guests were invited to "fill the tree" to help students *Thrive*! Many were surprised to see just how far their gifts would go!

Students and alumni took the stage to share what Seeds of Literacy means to them, and how important tutors like Bill Litzler are to their success.

Bill's family was front and center for the presentations.

Seeds West student, Aneka Monday, was joyful in her praise of the program.

His family enjoyed her enthusiasm.

Seeds East student and book club member, Valerie Taylor, approached the microphone with purpose.

The view from the lecturn can sometimes feel intimidating...

and although she paused for a moment, she impressed the audience with her poise and grace.

Student Leadership member, Kimberly Brabson, was there to support her classmates.

Alumna Charneil Daye, class of 2018, spoke about her journey through Seeds and her future in health care. She is currently pursuing an associate's degree at Bryant & Stratton.

Tutor Margo Faulhaber shared how working with students has enriched her life in ways she couldn't have dreamed.

Although Margo was the only tutor to speak, many of our tutors had something to share with the attendees. Tutors hand-wrote notes to all of the guests, explaining why they choose to help Seeds *Thrive*.

In addition to personal notes, the cards also featured shocking statistics about Cleveland's illiteracy rates, and 8 different covers showed why adult literacy matters.

Then it was time to recognize the man of the hour...Bill Litzler.

Development Director Jo Steigerwald and Site Coordinator Chris Richards spent weeks preparing a heartfelt tribute video as a special surprise. It was announced by Bill's good friend, George Miller.

[Keep scrolling through this slideshow, but come back to watch the video! It's pretty great!]

As intended, the video received many chuckles and even a few tears.
Executive Director Bonnie Entler then presented Bill with the 2018 Cultivator Impact award, recognizing a stakeholder whose contributions are so significant that students don't just grow, they THRIVE.

For a moment, Bill was speechless.

But that didn't last long!

Thank you, Bill! We will never be able to thank you enough for the difference you have made to Seeds!

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