FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GWINNETT COUNTY, GA. – On September 17, Preface held its 3rd Anniversary Childhood Literacy Benefit Gala, presented by Earth Baby, at the beautiful TPC Sugarloaf Golf & Country Club in its home community of Gwinnett County, GA. The Gala was an incredible success – raising over $100,000 in literacy funds and resources to be invested in the next generation – all thanks to the generosity of Preface supporters!
All proceeds further support the Preface mission of promoting Equality Through Education and Early Childhood Literacy.
Starting off with a cocktail hour on the lawn overlooking the magnificent golf course home of the PGA Tour's Mitsubishi Electric Classic, the event was an impactful evening filled with live music, dancing, incredible food and drinks – all while celebrating the amazing work of Preface’s educational partners and high school student “Ambassadors.”
To kick off the evening, Preface debuted its moving short film, "The Preface Story," created and shot by Circa Twenty Four Pictures, highlighting the mission, vision, and impacts of its award-winning early childhood literacy model.
Preface then heard from its distinguished Guests of Honor for the evening, representing Preface's firm support from across the state, federal, and local levels: First Lady of Georgia Marty Kemp (who delivered remarks virtually), US Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux, and Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson.
Additionally, Preface proudly displayed congratulatory letters from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and both of Georgia's sitting US Senators: Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock.
Preface also hosted numerous media representatives and hosted numerous additional elected and Gwinnett County Public School officials showing their personal support for early childhood literacy, including State Representative Gregg Kennard; State Representative Donna McCleod; Martha Revelo, the Outreach Director for Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock; Gwinnett County Commissioner Marlene Fosque; Gwinnett County School Board Member Karen Watkins; Duluth City Councilman Jamin Harkness; and Interim Commissioner of the Atlanta Dept. of Transportation (and former Duluth City Councilwoman) Marsha Anderson Bomar.
All three of Preface's Guests of Honor gave impactful speeches packed with insights into their inspirations and passions for early childhood education in the community.
“I'm honored to address you for your 3rd Anniversary Gala, and I want to thank you all for your commitment to increasing childhood literacy in our state,” said First Lady of Georgia, Marty Kemp. "Reading skills are essential to setting our children on the path to lifelong learning..... by learning to read, kids open doors to expand their imaginations, pursue their dreams, and ultimately find success later in life."
Congresswoman Bourdeaux shared similarly powerful views on the importance of community and strong educational supports. Noting that "Early childhood education is essential," Bourdeaux congratulated Preface on its successes and ongoing partnerships with her office, further remarking that "Impressed by what Preface was doing, [my staff] has been delivering additional multilingual books [from the Library of Congress] across the community.... Surely one thing we can all agree on from our diverse backgrounds and all political parties and persuasions is that reading and early childhood education is essential. By expanding opportunities for children to learn how to read, Preface is opening the door for countless children, increasing their chances of completing their education and leading a successful life."
Gwinnett County Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson provided powerful remarks, as well, thanking Preface for its "commitment to advancing Equality Through Education and Early Childhood Literacy across America, here in Georgia, and also locally in Gwinnett County." Hendrickson continued that Preface's efforts are vital complements to the diverse outreach efforts underway in Gwinnett County to ensure all children are able to "hit the ground running" once in school, concluding that, "Our people are the most important resource we have, so I'm always grateful for community organizations like Preface that help ensure every child has access to the resources that they need to thrive."
Following the recognition of Preface’s 2022 Guests of Honor, members of Preface leadership shifted to honoring the year’s Legacy Award recipients: Gwinnett County educators Liliana Trujillo and Sharon Chen.
Embodying the essence of educators willing to go above and beyond to serve their students, Trujillo and Chen spoke at length about the impact that Preface’s customizable, no-cost, and high-impact literacy models and book resource Legacy Gifts had in their own communities during the past year - and how their personal stories resonated with the core principles of the Preface mission to provide hope and educational opportunity for the diverse students in their care.
Preface then announced the formation of its second endowed scholarship fund, honoring Frank and Florence Nacino - longtime literacy advocates who have generously invested in enhancing the lives of the next generation over the last several years.
Jonathan “JT” Wu, Preface's Founder and Executive Director, then wrapped up the evening by giving an inspiring Founder’s Speech to conclude presentations - and celebrating a highly successful mission drive that helped raise over $100,000 in funds and resources to support the next generation.
“It may start with just one high school student and one child, who have discovered a love of reading together,” said Wu, “but pretty soon, those kids are telling their friends, and that spirit of service catches on – expanding and growing and changing young lives across America as these kids become the ripples of hope that can set this next generation up for a future that we can only begin to imagine.”
Preface remains grateful to the generous sponsors who helped make its 2022 Anniversary Benefit Gala such a success - especially 2022 Presenting Sponsor, Earth Baby, the Diamond Sponsors at the Pritchard Foundation, and 2022 Platinum Sponsors, String and Story, NVestfit, The Melville Family Foundation, Circa Twenty Four Pictures, Univision 34 Atlanta, and The Waddy Family, as well as Preface's Official Athletic Partners: The Atlanta Gladiators.
Having exceeded its fundraising goals and further cemented its position as a leader in early childhood education across the country, Preface is poised to continue innovating and investing in the next generation, advancing its mission of Equality Through Education and Early Childhood Literacy into 2023 - and beyond.
Highlight video recap of the evening, produced by Paula Rodriguez and PRecise Consulting
Vlogged highlights on "Literacy and Leadership" by Stephen Wicks and ThinkCERCA
Exclusive podcast recap featuring JT Wu and Director of Educational Standards Heather Phillips, by Amanda Pearch and Forsyth Business RadioX
Founded in 2019, Preface is a public-private philanthropic initiative dedicated to fostering Equality Through Education and early childhood literacy - often with a multilingual twist! Partnering with educators and community leaders, Preface empowers local high schoolers to give back to their communities and bridge opportunity gaps by fostering literacy among young students of all backgrounds. A federally recognized 501(c)(3) organization, Preface is proudly headquartered in Gwinnett County, Georgia and serves communities across America. Learn more at www.PrefaceProject.org.
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