Some are individuals. Some are groups or organizations.
Tonight, an individual mover will break bread with an organizational shaker.
More importantly, they will share philosophies, exchange ideas and offer past insights that will be mutually beneficial in developing a future vision.
We refer to the fundraising banquet on the Lee University campus that launches the 2010-20 Strategic Plan for the Bradley Initiative for Church and Community. The long-anticipated gathering kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at the DeVos Recreation Center.
Tickets are $75 for individuals and $150 for couples.
Delivering tonight’s keynote address will be Dr. Paul Conn, who for more than 20 years has directed a new and contemporary course for what most remember as the former tiny Lee College and which now — through a forward-thinking stewardship — has blossomed into a growing, nationally recognized university.
At tonight’s breakthrough fundraiser, Conn will be the individual mover whose own experiences will surely inspire the current and future work of BICC, the organizational shaker.
It is a splendid combination.
The group and the individual are to be commended for taking yet another step in the progression of our Cleveland and Bradley County hometown, and the engagement of our people.
In keeping with its long-standing objective, BICC — coordinated by a diversified board of directors — has selected “Operation: Spring Forward” as its theme for the next decade.
It is an appropriate focus, one born from a dream, a mission and a vision that formed years ago in the mind — and the heart — of its founder and executive director, Brenda Hughes.
BICC’s vision is a community woven together by its differences.
BICC’s strength is its membership.
BICC’s mission is to identify ways — and to successfully implement those initiatives — to bring our residents, churches, civic groups and local government to a common path toward reaching out to those in need and fashioning answers to our community’s unanswered questions.
It is no easy task.
If history teaches us anything, it is the difficulty in getting two, three or more worthy groups sitting around the same table to discuss our residents’ needs, let alone launching mutual strategies that can best meet those needs.
Yet, Bradley Initiative for Church and Community over the years has done just that.
It has created invaluable dialogue between our many churches.
It has spawned direct communication between those who can truly impact the future.
It has offered a sense of reliance, understanding and respect among those who have the ways, the means and the resources to make a difference.
It has melded our community’s unsung diversity into a strength by rescuing it from the depths of mistrust, misunderstanding and above all miscommunication.
Tonight’s fundraiser is a perfect fit.
Lee University has blossomed into a downtown Cleveland flower, one whose fragrance now attracts a diverse spectrum of young minds whose ambitions are just as a diverse as the student body itself. Lee’s maturity is made possible through its own international appeal and through its futuristic president.
BICC is following the same path. Its influence on our community, our education and our residents is already felt in all corners.
Yet, it is still learning.
Tonight’s inspiring message from one who assuredly knows the ropes will become another stepping stone for a hometown that has embraced the BICC presence and its potential for uniting our people and our future.
We urge your attendance and we applaud your endearing role as a community visionary.