“Project GRAD Akron Scores big win with its 4th Annual March GRADness Spring Fundraiser 

April 19, 2018

Akron, OH:  Project GRAD Akron hosted our 4th Annual March GRADness fundraiser on Monday, April 2, 2018 at Greystone Hall, 103 S. High Street, in downtown Akron, Ohio.  It was an all-star classic, as over two hundred guests supported the Happy Hour event, which was held before the NCAA Men’s Championship basketball game between Michigan and Villanova.  From business suits to guests wearing their favorite sports or college attire, there was something for everyone to enjoy at this casual fun-filled fundraiser to support Project GRAD Akron’s College Access Programs and Scholarship Fund.

March GRADness included delicious food stations, a photo booth, sports trivia, competitive games, door prizes, raffles, networking, and a great deal of fun!  The Ultimate National Championship Sponsor was G. Stephens, Inc.  The additional major sponsors of the event were:   Final Four Championship Sponsors: Marty Belsky & Kate Waits and Kent State University; Elite Eight Sponsor: Cleveland Clinic Akron General; and Sweet Sixteen Sponsors: Johnnette & Howard Curry, Annette Grimes Hammonds, Dana & Frank LaGarde, and Care Source

Additional event sponsors were:  Second Round Sponsors: Maura Scanlon Bozzelli, Esq.,  Jacqueline Silas-Butler, Esq. & Lawrence Butler, Ben Comston, FameFathers, Lola and James Harris Sr., First Choice Bookkeeping & Tax Service, State Representative Tavia Galonski, Daron Hines, Judge Jill Flagg Lanzinger, OMNOVA Solutions Foundation, Ann & David Otto, Roger Read, Richard Roberts, Sandra Shaw, Pamela R. Valentine,  and Abraham & Angela Wescott; and  First Round Sponsors: Akron Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Akron Summit Community Action, Inc., Judge Christine Croce, Anita Davis, Esq., Barbara Feld, Lashawrida Fellows, Randall Freeman, Esq., Magistrate Elisa B. Hill, Judi Hill, Steve Kristin, Judge Kathryn Michael, Judge Jon Oldham, Mary Outley-Kelly, David Pelland, Pauline Persons,  Atty. Jonathan Sinn, Marco Sommerville, University of Akron’s Educational Talent Search, Judge Nicole Walker,  Debbie Walsh, Judge Annalisa Williams, Kendra Philon Williams, Dr. Sheldon Wrice, Pam Wright, CPA, and Kimberly Young.

March GRADness was chaired by Project GRAD Akron Board members, James Harris Jr. and Anita Davis, Esq.  Serving on the Steering Committee were Attorney Jacqueline Silas-Butler, Executive Director of Project GRAD Akron; Dana K. LaGarde, President of the Board of Directors; Ingrid Abraham-Turner, Cynthia Blake, Lawrence Butler, Howard Curry, Johnnette Curry, Barbara Feld, Lashawrida Fellows, Randall “Rich” Freeman, Esq., Annette Grimes Hammonds, Byron Hopkins, Andre Lessears, Mary Outley-Kelly, Angela Payden, Richard Roberts, Danielle Stokes, Abraham Wescott, Virginique Whitmore, and Kimberly Young.

Project GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams) Akron collaborates to provide a system of programs, supports, and scholarships for underrepresented students to achieve success from kindergarten through career.  In addition to the various programs and services Project GRAD provides for students from kindergarten to college, since 2006 Project GRAD Akron has awarded over $1.6 million in scholarships to graduates of Buchtel High School of the Akron Public Schools.



“It is a pleasure working with Project GRAD Akron and AT&T is committed to Project GRAD’s mission. Your mission coincides with the philanthropic goals of the AT&T Foundation. We, too, want to increase the graduation rates of *****

Margaret Williams
Director of External Affairs, AT&T

“All the kids that I’ve run into at Buchtel High School that are a part of Project GRAD Akron have been really sharp.”

Dr. Rich Londraville
Associate Professor of Biology, UA

“I think we should put Project GRAD in more schools.”


“I think the community views it as a good thing because my mom made me come to Buchtel basically because of Project GRAD.”