Honorees Announced for 8th Annual Achieving Dreams Celebration 

September 03, 2014

“Honorees Announced for Project GRAD Akron’s Eighth Annual Achieving Dreams Celebration”

 (Akron, Ohio).  Project GRAD Akron will celebrate its Eighth Annual Achieving Dreams Celebration on Thursday, October 2, 2014 at St. George’s Fellowship Hall, 3204 Ridgewood Road, Akron.   The event will include a reception for honorees and sponsors, dinner, fabulous silent auction, and an awards program.  Tickets for the event are $100.00 for VIP ticket purchasers and $65.00 for general admission ticket purchasers. 

Annually, Project GRAD Akron recognizes individuals for their personal and professional achievements.  This year, the organization will recognize Bishop F. Josephus “Joey” Johnson II, Pastor Cathy L. Johnson, and The House of the Lord, as the Community Service honorees.  Additionally, since 2010 Project GRAD Akron has recognized Buchtel Alumni in various categories.  The following are the 2014 Buchtel Alumni honorees:  Kelley Coleman Walton as Young Alumna; and Thomas DeBord, Howard Hewett, and Stacey Hodoh as Lifetime Achievement. 

In collaboration with community partners, Project GRAD Akron provides a system of programs, supports, and scholarships for underrepresented students to achieve success from pre-kindergarten through career. Graduating seniors from Buchtel High School have the additional opportunity to receive scholarships from Project GRAD Akron.  Since 2006, our organization has awarded nearly One Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1.4 Million) in scholarships to graduates of Buchtel High School.  Achieving Dreams Celebration’s proceeds will support the programs, services, and scholarship fund of Project GRAD Akron. 

The following are the sponsors as of September 1, 2014 of the event:  PRESENTING SPONSOR:  OMNOVA Solutions Foundation; ACHIEVER SPONSORS:  Alpha Phi Alpha Foundation of Akron, Ohio and Kent State University; MENTOR SPONSORS:  Akron General Health System, Buckeye Community Health Plan, First Energy, Attorneys Dianne and Herbert Newman, State and Federal Communications, Summa Health System, and Walmart; COLLABORATOR SPONSORS:  Akron Children’s Hospital, Jacqueline and Lawrence Butler, Dr. Gregory and Mrs. Judi Hill, KeyBank, Roger and Judy Read, Rubber City Radio Group, Inc., Stark State University, Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home & Cremation Service, and The Maynard Family Foundation; and MEDIA SPONSOR:  Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com.

The following persons are serving on the steering committee:  Judi Hill and Stephanie “Stevie” Turner (Event chairpersons); S. Theresa Carter (Chairperson of the Sponsorship Committee); Elizabeth Bartz (Chairperson of the Silent Auction); Brittany Grimes Zaehringer, Esq., (Chairperson of the Buchtel Alumni Honorees Committee); Bernett L. Williams (Chairperson of the Community Service Awards Committee);Sue Hobson (Chairperson of the Table Captains Committee);  Kristen Uitenham (Co-Chairperson of the Marketing and Social Media Committee); Judge Annalisa Williams (Chairperson of the Hospitality Committee); Roxia Boykin and Debra North Sommerville (Co-Chairpersons of the Raffle Committee), Carol Byrd, Deborah Cunningham, Joyce Lagios, Theresa Manzell, Mary Meli, and Jacqueline Silas-Butler (Executive Director).

The following persons have agreed to serve as Table Captains and tickets may be obtained from them or the Project GRAD office:  Jacqueline and Lawrence Butler, Deborah and Gavin Cunningham, Laurie and Scott Curfman, Anita Davis, Esq., Sherri and Clifford Graves, Judi and Dr. Gregory Hill, David W. James, Debra and Marco Sommerville, Erma Thomas, and Judge Annalisa and Councilman-at-Large Michael Williams. 

For additional information about sponsorships, advertisements, donating to the silent auction, or to purchase tickets, please contact Project GRAD Akron at 330-761-3113 or via email at info@projectgradakron.org.  Limited tickets are still available.  


“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.”


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