2018 Inspire Awards

One of my favorite non-profit organizations to work with is College Mentors for Kids. Every February, they host the Inspire Awards; a gala luncheon to honor those in the Indianapolis community committed to mentoring the next generation of leaders. Once again, the luncheon took place at the magnificent JW Marriott Indianapolis luxury hotel.

This was the fourth or fifth year I have photographed the event and it is always such a thrill to hear the story of how college students are impacting the lives of elementary students and encouraging them to pursue educational and life goals. The event culminates with the awarding of the Lifetime Achievement Award to an outstanding individual.

2018 Recipient

This year’s recipient was Jim McClelland,¬†Indiana Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement. (Also known as Indiana’s Drug Czar.) After learning more about him and his work in the community, I can attest this is a well-deserved honor. As a plus, he received¬†his MBA from my alma mater, Indiana University.

The Lifetime Achievement Award in Mentoring, presented by College Mentors for Kids.
The Lifetime Achievement Award in Mentoring, presented by College Mentors for Kids.
Jim McClelland addresses guests in the V.I.P. reception after receiving a proclamation from Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett declaring February 22, 2018 as Jim McClelland Day.
Jim McClelland addresses guests in the V.I.P. reception after receiving a proclamation from Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett declaring February 22, 2018 as Jim McClelland Day.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb introduces Jim McClelland to the audience at the 2018 Inspire Awards luncheon.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb introduces Jim McClelland to the audience at the 2018 Inspire Awards luncheon.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb presents Jim McClelland with the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award in Mentoring from College Mentors for Kids.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb presents Jim McClelland with the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award in Mentoring from College Mentors for Kids.

Fundraising

Throughout the event, there were a variety of ways for people to donate and provide financial support to College Mentors for Kids. Indianapolis jeweler Reis-Nichols donated a diamond compass pendant which was raffled off to the 500 guests in attendance.

This diamond compass pendant was the raffle prize for the Inspire Awards luncheon.
This diamond compass pendant was the raffle prize for the Inspire Awards luncheon.

This year marked the first time College Mentors for Kids used a mobile app for fundraising. Guests were invited to donate online and the tally was displayed onscreen at the front of the ballroom.

The jumbo star filled up quickly as guests donated toward the $10,000 fundraising goal.
The jumbo star filled up quickly as guests donated toward the $10,000 fundraising goal.

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