Giving Tuesday Holiday Benefit at Deer Creek Club

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Over 80 benefactors kicked off the holiday season by celebrating Giving Tuesday at SDI’s 3rd Annual Holiday Benefit at the Deer Creek Club. The event took place on Tuesday, November 27, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, which is recognized as a global day of philanthropy. This year SDI received two challenge gifts from anonymous donors to match all funds raised for Giving Tuesday and the Holiday Benefit. The donors matched every donation, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000 for the Deer Creek Benefit and $5,000 for online #GivingTuesday donations.  

We are pleased to report that we met and exceeded the challenges! The total raised was just over $31,000 for this very special day of giving. 

Guests arrived at 6 p.m. They were served cocktails and sumptuous hors d’oeuvres as they mixed and mingled about.   

Katie Fields, a member of the Starkloff Young Friends executive board, addressed the crowd and encouraged them to participate in a networking game. The group enthusiastically complied. Guests mixed with graduates of the Starkloff Career Academy and the Dream Big program.   

SDI Board Member and President of the Max Starkloff Society Ray Hartmann welcomed the guests and introduced Colleen Starkloff, the Co-Founder and Co-Director of SDI. 

Colleen recapped SDI’s achievements in 2017. Among them, 24 candidates graduated from the Starkloff Career Academy. It has provided intensive training to more than 220 job candidates with disabilities since the program began.  Starkloff Career Academy now offers a variety of programs for job candidates, including our traditional semester-long Capstone Course, Summer Boot Camp, one-day workshops, the Professional Connectors networking program, Monday Motivators and an introductory course.  

A crowning achievement in 2017 was the launch of SDI’s newest program DREAM BIG. “While the Starkloff Career Academy prepares today’s workers, we must prepare tomorrow’s workforce. That’s where Dream Big comes in,” says Colleen. “This year we helped 27 kids explore in-demand careers  that will provide them economic independence, and we connected them with employers that may want to hire them in the future.” 

Funds raised from the annual holiday benefit go to provide scholarships for adult and youth candidate preparation in these programs.   

“The energy and excitement among our candidates is contagious. Candidates and donors both come away from this event having learned more, made valuable connections, and really enjoyed themselves. It is a special night for the Institute.”  

Click here to see the party pictures!  

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