BELL kicks off its 20th Anniversary Celebration with the Talent Show Gala
BOSTON - November 5 - On Saturday night, BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) kicked off its 20th Year Anniversary Celebration with its Talent Show Gala at The Revere Hotel in Boston's Theater District. Two hundred and eighty guests enjoyed performances by R&B singer-songwriter Colby O'Donis, Boston University step team Xception, and Berklee College of Music a cappella group Pitch Slapped. Current and former participants in BELL's summer and after school programs sang, danced, and stomped along as they accompanied performers on stage at the Hotel's Space 57.
The event raised awareness and funding for BELL's expanded learning programs in Boston. Former BELL scholar Benji Suprice, now a junior at Dedham High School, spoke about the edge BELL gave him in school, and about how his time in the BELL Summer program inspired him to attend MIT and become an engineer. Josette Williams, mother of a current BELL scholar, spoke about the impact BELL is having on her daughter's success in school and motivation to learn. Josette testified "I am thankful that BELL has figured out this successful recipe and their partnership with our family to help my daughter excel."
Attending the event were representatives of BELL's board of directors, Boston Public Schools, the local philanthropic and business communities, BELL staff, scholars, and parents, and friends. The event was Co-Chaired by Dr. Lauren Smith, interim commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and member of BELL's board of directors, and Lynne Palmer, a local volunteer. The BELL Talent Show was organized by a Talent Show Committee that also included BELL's Board Chair, Laurene Sperling and fellow board member Deb Knez, as well as Rachel Berkey, Jennifer Conley, Randi Cutler, Laraine Cohen Levy, Lauren Mazzella, Michelle Miller, Caroline Oberg, Pam Remis, Jody Rose, Robin Scari, Susan Simon, Susan Spagnola, and Gloria White-Hammond.
Sponsors for the Talent Show included Debra Smith Knez, Laurene and Scott Sperling, Randi and Joel Cutler, Bank of America, James Boll and Dr. Lauren Smith, Bulger Partners, Marc and Denise Casper, The District Management Council, Sandra and Paul Edgerley, EMC, Lauren and Joseph Mazzella, Steve and Judy Pagliuca, Lynne and Tim Palmer, Justin and Lee Sadrian, State Street Corporation and Maurice and Luly Samuels. Proceeds from the Talent Show will enable BELL to deliver summer learning experiences for one thousand Boston Public School students in 2013.