By Gloria Niec, Executive Director Celebration Foundation
It’s not unusual for my husband Steve to say, “Gloria, just bookend it”, meaning he thinks I get carried away with trying to explain something.
Sometimes when I write a Facebook post, he asks, “What, are you writing…War and Peace for social media?”
I think you can guess he is not the most patient person. But, it’s hard for me to condense what the Celebration Foundation does and what we mean to so many people, because I am so passionate about what we do.
If I start talking about programs, I feel I must talk about all of them…like did you know we helped over 6,000 Osceola High School students visualize and launch post-secondary careers. That’s huge for this county…helping kids move from poverty to a career with good wages. I am proud of all of them.
We help our neighbors stay in their homes as they get older. I am approaching my mid-60’s and you can bet I want to stay in my home, my neighborhood and the community I love.
And I’ll just mention one more. A bunch of women got together year ago, and we despaired at the messages our daughters…your daughters…were hearing about how to dress, how to act and what jobs they could aspire to as they graduated high school. The messages said…there were limits to what girls can do. So, we rebelled and started a program to encourage girls to set goals, to be leaders, to be determined, to be resilient and to become scientists, mathematicians, physicists. Yes, your daughters can make those decisions.
A fantastic board, great staff, wonderful volunteers and you, the Celebration community, have made this all happen.
“I have had the privilege of sitting on various nonprofit boards,” said Val Collins, Celebration Foundation Treasurer, “I enjoy working with groups at the Foundation. The board, staff and committees are dedicated to creating programs that are meaningful. We have received a Gold Star rating through GuideStar, we have a reviewed status by the Central Florida Foundation, and we work prudently to be good stewards of donations. Operating funds, reserves and endowment are all watched carefully using nonprofit best practices.”
In 2011, the Foundation was looking for it’s next chapter. I think we found it. From helping children who are hungry, to identifying what we all love about our community, to giving you an opportunity to enjoy lifelong learning, to listening to fantastic music…the Foundation touches lives in so many ways.