Celebration of Education Gala

Family Scholar House is hosting their first ever Celebration of Education Gala on September 21, which will take the place of their annual fall luncheon. The fabulous night will feature a cocktail reception, silent auction and much more. To get the full details on the event, we spoke with FSH Director of Mission Advancement Kellie Johnston.

What is the Celebration of Education Gala?

The Celebration of Education Gala will take place on Thursday, September 21 at the Downtown Marriott and is a black-tie optional event. Silent auction and cocktail reception, sponsored by Brown-Forman Corporation, begins at 5:30 p.m., with dinner and full program at 6:45 p.m. This event gives Family Scholar House the opportunity to share with our supporters the many successes of participants of Family Scholar House and to celebrate their journeys from poverty to self-sufficiency through education. 

What can guests expect at the event?

This will be an inspiring evening to celebrate Family Scholar House families and to learn more about the successes of our graduates. Guests at the gala will enjoy our keynote speaker, Wanda Durant, affectionately known as Mama Durant and “the real MVP.” Wanda is a strong leader, advocate and philanthropist whose passion is to help single mothers, women and children. She is the mother of two incredibly successful sons, businessman Anthony (Tony) Durant and NBA MVP star Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors. 

Why is the event important for FSH and the greater community?

Family Scholar House is fortunate to have broad support from businesses, foundations and individuals in our community, and this evening allows us to bring together those supporters with our families to highlight the outcomes of their generous support. It also allows Family Scholar House to introduce new community supporters to our families, our mission and our impact on the Louisville community.

Tell us about the “Real MVP” contest.

In Kevin Durant’s NBA MVP Award acceptance speech, he said that his mom was his “Real MVP” and told of all the sacrifices she made to be sure that he and his brother had not only basic needs but the opportunity to play sports. Our Real MVP contest is a way for one lucky person to share the story of their Real MVP and win reservations for two at our Celebration of Education Gala.

How did this specific event come about?

This is the 20th year of Family Scholar’s Celebration of Education event. In recognition of this milestone, our Board of Directors wanted to offer an evening event that gave us a less rushed agenda and a chance for community members to socialize at our Brown-Forman sponsored cocktail reception before the dinner and program.  In addition to the keynote address by Wanda Durant, we will present the Dr. Lucy M. Freibert, SCN Awards to Passport Health Plan and Frank and Paula Harshaw. Passport and the Harshaws are very deserving of recognition for their commitment to education, gender equity and leadership development opportunities. Our guests can also look forward to hearing from one of our graduates and receiving a copy of Family Scholar House’s first book, “Stories that Define Us.” This book has been written by Pam Platt and is being debuted at our gala.

Do you hope to make it an annual event?

We have enjoyed having a luncheon in the past and have had many requests to move to an evening event. We look forward to many years to come of our Celebration of Education Gala. Not only does this event raise funds to support our mission and serve our scholars of all ages, it also gives our community a chance to learn about our work and the outcomes that have a positive impact on our entire community.

Where can tickets be purchased?

Individual reservations, table reservations and sponsorships are still available for the Celebration of Education Gala. Please contact Kate Brackett at 502.813.3086 or kbrackett@familyscholarhouse.org, or visit our website, www.familyscholarhouse.org and select Upcoming Events. VT