Thursday, June 16, 2011

Moving beyond the past to the future

Tonight will be the annual year end dinner celebrating the work done at Cabrini Connections in the past year.

I've hosted these dinners every spring since 1975 in my role as leader of the Montgomery Ward-Cabrini Green Tutoring Program, then Executive Director of Cabrini Green Tutoring Program Inc, and since 1993 as President of Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection.

I won't be at tonight's dinner because I won't be officially part of Cabrini Connections after July 15. It's too painful for me to stand in front of you all asking for your help in making Cabrini Connections available to youth and volunteers for a coming year, when that call to action now will need to come from El Da'Sheon Nix and the Board of Directors.

If I were at the dinner I might want to talk about the history of the organization and show photos from the thousands that have been taken in the past 35 years. I might want to talk about what I've learned and why I've built a passion for the second part of Cabrini Connections, the Tutor/Mentor Connection. I would invite you to stay connected to me and to the information and ideas that I'm sharing on my blog and this web site.

I've received numerous awards and recognition over the past 35 years.

None have been more important to me than hearing the success of our teens and seeing the interaction they and volunteers have each year. The Dinner is special because it showcases this in so many ways. I don't want my leaving to take away the attention from what we have been trying to do at Cabrini Connections.

So I will say to all of you, "Keep the vision alive. Keep helping each other. Keep in mind that the only way we'll solve any of the problems we face is if each of us says "If it is to be, it is up to me".

Cabrini Connections is available because of the efforts of many volunteers over many years. Some of them have worked hard to find the money needed to operate the program. Over the past few years finding this money has been more difficult and that has led the Board of Directors to think that separating the Tutor/Mentor Connection from Cabrini Connections will give them a simpler story and more ability to raise the needed money.

Raising the money has always been about telling the story of why we are involved and why what we do is important to people who have the ability to give money. If all of you keep doing that you should be able to find enough donors.

I will continue to try to help from my role as leader of the Tutor/Mentor Connection and as a long-term member and supporter of the tutoring/mentoring that has been taking place in Cabrini-Green since 1965.

Congratulations on another year. Good luck in what you do to help each other in the coming years.

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