Whiz Kids' Seeds of Hope event is March 27
When Gregory Samuel was in first grade, he struggled to read on grade level and his mom was concerned for his future. His teacher recommended Whiz Kids where he received much-needed encouragement and support.
Now, a high school senior at Harding Fine Arts Academy, he is in the process of selecting a college. Samuel attributes Whiz Kids for helping him become a stronger, successful student.
He will share his story as Whiz Kids Oklahoma hosts its annual Seeds of Hope Volunteer Appreciation and Charity at 6 p.m. Monday, March 27, at the Cox Convention Center. Reception and silent auction begin at 6 p.m.
This year's theme is “Honoring Our Special Heroes.”
Seeds of Hope provides ongoing funding for Whiz Kids Oklahoma, a faith-based, one-on-one, volunteer tutoring and mentoring program that has been helping under-resourced children in Oklahoma City for 22 years. More than 1,300 volunteers and numerous community, church and school partners will be honored for making a difference in the lives of more than 850 elementary students in the Oklahoma City metro area.
Whiz Kids will also honor Larry Bross, City Care Inc. founder, who retires June 1. Bross and his wife, Masie, started Whiz Kids in 1995. Other notable attendees include: Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hoffmeister, Oklahoma City School District Superintendent Aurora Lora and former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys.
Musicians from the Oklahoma City Philharmonic will perform during the event.
Shining Star recipients are selected and recognized as transformational partners for Whiz Kids. This year’s Shining Star recipients are: Mo Anderson, vice chairman and founder of Keller Williams Realty and author of “A Joy Filled Life;” and Mike Liddell, former executive for Gulfport Energy; and Novo Ministries, a faith-based mentoring program for inner-city boys and girls.
Other special honorees include individuals who have volunteered for Whiz Kids for more than 20 years, including: Dwight Cunkle, Dick Gale, Gary Garland, Carol Gray, Joanna Harmon, Joni Jones, Larry Lewis, Billie Oldham, Ann Salazar and Valerie Sheesly.
“Seeing students make real progress academically and socially is what makes Whiz Kids so vital to our city, but without our dedicated volunteers and donors, none of it would be possible,” said Bea Jai Webb, Whiz Kids director.
“We are fortunate to have amazing volunteers and partners year after year that help us reach more students.”
Whiz Kids partners with the following school districts: Crooked Oak; Crutcho; Mid-Del; Millwood; Putnam City and Oklahoma City. A teacher from each local school facilitates each Whiz Kids site and serves as a school liaison.
To donate, volunteer, learn more about Whiz Kids Oklahoma or obtain tickets to the Seeds of Hope event, call 602-2815 or go to www.whizkidsok.org.
Posted by Carla Hinton