Giving Back So Others Can Start Moving Forward

Year In Review –– 2023

Giving Back So Others Can Start Moving Forward

Monya and I want to thank LFYO supporters, partners, and board members who made 2023 a year to remember. More than 750 at-risk individuals were impacted by our programs, workshops, and camps. From personal branding to job skills readiness to financial fitness, participants were given the game plan to achieve better life prospects and legacy pathways through cutting-edge offerings. Every innovative app and sensory-based tool is created in-house to make learning an inviting and empowering experience. For our efforts, LFYO was the recipient of  Mahogany Columbus’ Central Ohio’s Outstanding Community Leader Award.

The Columbus Foundation
Central Ohio’s Outstanding Community Leader Award
Crimson Cup Coffee Headquarters

2023 LFYO Fundraising Luncheon

The 2023 LFYO Fundraising Luncheon on September 15th at Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse was spectacular. The beautiful weather. The first-class service. The heartwarming atmosphere. Attendees were treated to scrumptious appetizers, a steak-chicken-and-salmon trio, and a delectable dessert combo. Speakers shared insights that resonated on a number of fronts, most notably how to make a lasting difference in helping vulnerable males reach outlier status as statistical anomalies. As Clark Kellogg and Gene Smith highlighted in their riveting speeches, Buckeye Nation is a family of caring souls and equally generous hearts.

All-Star Sponsor Lindsey and Jacob Osborn (far right)
All-Star Sponsor Linda and Roger Blackwell (center right)
All-Star Sponsor Rebecca and Brandon McAllister (center right)
Legacy Sponsor Tom Fleming with Guests (front row center)
First Church of God

In partnership with The GoodLife Foundation and Park National Bank, we hosted a homeownership and economic empowerment workshop for underserved communities on November 9th.

Holiday Generosity

The holidays offer us a time to (re)connect with family and close friends. They also provide us with the privilege of helping those most in need. We want to recognize the Fahlgren family for blessing Cinnamon, a single mother of five, with groceries and Christmas presents. Tears swelled in Cinnamon’s eyes as she watched her youngest child, an adorable three-year-old, grin from ear to ear with excitement. One trip after another, the gifts kept pouring in as the Fahlgrens retrieved more and more goodies from their jam-packed vehicle. John Fahlgren is an LFYO partner and the owner of Sow Plated. Located in Upper Arlington, this is our favorite restaurant in Central Ohio. Great Food = Good Mood!

NBA Basketball Experience

Lastly, let’s talk basketball. Tom Warner was the auction winner of The Cleveland Sports Package at our fundraising event, which included a four-course dinner at five-star Morton’s Steakhouse and lower-bowl tickets to watch the Cavs play the New Orleans Pelicans on December 21st. Cavs legend, Campy Russell, donated the tickets; our seats were five rows behind the Pelicans bench. (Included in the photos are Tom, his son Grant, me, and my son Eli.)

High School Basketball and Mentoring Program

The year ended with the launching of LFYO’s new initiative, The Mr. Fundy’s Mentoring Playbook for Youth and Young Adults. Mentoring concepts are crystallized through basketball terminology. Monya and I presented three workshops for the coaching staff and varsity boys basketball teams at Hartley, Walnut Ridge, and Africentric, respectively. Players were fed a deliciously healthy meal, shown how to identify and articulate their personal brand, and given the template for lifelong success as outlined in our mentoring playbook poster. I’ll share more insights on mentoring in a five-part series throughout this month. January is National Mentoring Month. Time for you-me-us to step up our influence game personally, professionally, and philanthropically.

Bishop Hartley Varsity Boys Basketball
Walnut Ridge Varsity Boys Basketball
Africentric Varsity Boys Basketball
Deliciously Healthy Brunch

With your support, we can continue to make a real difference in the lives and legacies of vulnerable communities

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