By MICHELLE BOXELL
Community Relations Manager,
Cardinal Services held their ninth annual fundraising luncheon on Thursday, Nov 6. The Cardinal Call Luncheon was held at Warsaw Community Church and was attended by more than 300 guests who enjoyed a meal catered by Cerulean.
The theme of this year’s event, Something to Smile About, was present throughout the hour. Head Start children kicked things off singing the Barney Smile Song and walking with their Warsaw Community High School National Honor Society escorts among the guests to select someone to present with a special gift – a picture they had made of a smiling child.
Cardinal CEO, Jane Wear, spoke about the importance of helping each family, child and individual they serve to reach their goals and find their smile. Three of those spoke to the audience, sharing their stories of success at Cardinal Services.
Eldora Fore, a wife and Head Start mother of two boys shared some difficulties her sons have faced with autism and other issues. Head Start, she said gave her the tools to face each hurdle. When she and her husband recently learned that their youngest has had a stroke, she says these skills helped her family cope.
“I always knew my son was a fighter,” she said “and now I guess I am too, thanks to Head Start.” She credits the teachers and staff with helping her to find her voice to advocate – not only for her own children but others as well. “To me,” she said, “that’s really something to smile about.”
Troy Reith and his daughter Audrey also spoke. Audrey participates in Cardinal’s Work Services program and lives in one of their 14 group homes. Reith described the many challenges they faced trying to help Audrey find a job after high school, with no success. Each attempt left Audrey more deeply withdrawn, feeling like she didn’t fit. Finally they decided to let her try working at CCI, Cardinal’s manufacturing arm. Reith said, “It has been like night and day – and the sun has come up for Audrey.”
Audrey Reith finished their presentation telling the audience about her job, how much she enjoys working hard for her own paycheck, and how much she likes going to work and seeing her friends.
She concluded by telling guests “I like going to Cardinal because I am happy there.” Her comments were greeted by enthusiastic applause, many guests rising to their feet.
The Cardinal Call was sponsored by Leadership Gifts from:
- The Village at Winona
- In Memory of Lawrence J & Ruth J Castaldi
- Farmers State Bank
- Patricia Lenke
- Crowe Horwath, LLP
- Bartel Printing Company, Inc.
- Karen Troxel
- Stephen & Vicky Eisenhut
Sponsor Gifts by:
- Old National Bank
- David & Susan Findlay
- Maple Leaf Farms
- Creighton Brothers
- Adam & Jessica Turner
- Canal Street Gallery
- Wildman Business Group