What’s the Good2Give Celebration like? It’s the biggest party in town celebrating all our nonprofits! The moment event attendees walked in the doors to the Infinite Energy Forum’s Grand Ballroom on August 17th they were surrounded by nonprofits. From Hans Solo, Darth Vader, Storm Troopers and more from the Georgia Garrison of the 501st Legion to the talented dancers from the Gwinnett Ballet, the entire evening celebrated all the good happening in our communities.
Like the last three years, the Community Foundation highlighted five areas where organizations are making a big impact: community, human services, arts, health care and education. Between those segments, the Community Foundation also did surprise giveaways to five nonprofits in the audience: FCA Forsyth, Annandale Village, North Fulton Community Charities, Gwinnett Ballet and Mosaic Georgia. Mariela Romero, a Community Foundation emeritus board member and Univision anchor, hosted the giveaways throughout the evening.
“The Good2Give Celebration is not about a fundraiser or asking for money. It’s about highlighting and celebrating our organizations in the great community we live in,” said board chair Sandra Strickland. “We are all neighbors. The Community Foundation is an active board of directors who commit themselves to connecting people who care with causes that matter such as homelessness, food insufficiency, early education, health care, and the arts.”
The Community Foundation’s President and CEO Randy Redner was the evening’s emcee, and kicked off the celebration honoring Sandra Strickland for her service as board chair and then turned the mic over to Ethel Andersen, who honored former Gwinnett Chamber President Dan Kaufman for his work in the community.
The evening’s program started with education, featuring stories of how the Gwinnett Public Library is helping children from 0-5 gain the skills they need to succeed in school. The audience was also treated to “story time” with Mr. Dan the librarian, who gathered children around him and then read them a story.
During the human services portion, the celebration featured Hi Hope Service Center, an almost 60-year-old nonprofit located in Lawrenceville focused on empowering adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to define and live a meaningful life.
For the Community segment, the evening highlighted Leadership Gwinnett. This nonprofit was created 30-some years ago to educate, equip, and engage diverse leaders and inspire civic involvement. They do this through leadership programs, events, and programming designed to inspire, challenge, and connect people at all levels of leadership development.
Denise Brinson, assistant city manager of Suwanee, took the stage during the arts segment. She shared about the City of Suwanee’s Art for All Campaign, a publicly funded campaign to add more signature art pieces to the city’s expanded Town Center Park.
The evening ended with healthcare, and some of the moving stories of the people helped by Navigate Recovery, a nonprofit working to change the way addiction is treated in our communities.
“In many ways, we saved the most challenging conversation for last,” Redner said. “When you talk about healthcare, you talk about something that touches every man, woman and child in America. Earlier this year, we helped start the Gwinnett Healthcare Roundtable to identify the key issues and work together to close the gaps. That group now includes over 40 healthcare leaders, from Gwinnett Medical, Eastside Medical, Children’s Healthcare, Good Samaritan, Hope Clinic and many others. For the Good2Give Celebration, we wanted to highlight Navigate Recovery, who is leading the effort in addiction recovery.”
At the end, the Gwinnett Ballet surprised everyone with one last number and guests also received cookies from another Meadowcreek High School’s Culinary team.
“We’re very grateful to our presenting sponsor Metro Waterproofing, our 48 other amazing sponsors and everyone who purchased a table or tickets,” Redner said. “Every year, I’m so proud and grateful to see how our community comes together to celebrate all the good we do together. We can’t wait for next year!”
Here’s what some of our attendees had to say about the evening:
“The event was wonderful. My wife and I were blown away by the reach of the foundation.” Event attendee
“It was a special night of storytelling honoring some of the amazing organizations transforming the lives of families and individuals throughout our community.” Hi Hope Service Center
“We had a great time tonight at the Good2Give Celebration! Thank you to the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia for highlighting the issue of homelessness and congratulations to our wonderful partners Navigate Recovery Gwinnett for being one of the five honored organizations tonight!” HomeFirst Gwinnett
“Such a great night to celebrate generosity and community at the Good2Give Celebration with friends. Thanks Randy Redner and team for a wonderful night highlighting the great work being done in Gwinnett and beyond.” Pam Parish, Connections Homes
“We are so honored to have been selected as a recipient of a Good2Give Celebration surprise gift! Thank you, Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia, for helping us turn disability into possibility!” Annandale Village
“We are truly humbled to have been one of the five nonprofits recognized by the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia at the Good2Give Celebration on Saturday. What a great way to celebrate all the good happening in our community!” Navigate Recovery