On Friday, February 1st, CTC carried the torch of our Legacy Campaign with our second annual Legacy Dinner at the L.V. Eberhard Center! This event celebrated Legacy Award honorees Chris Kaiser and Lori Pitts, and Volunteer Award honoree Emma Erlenbeck. They were recognized for their commitment to CTC’s mission: helping children to walk, talk, learn, and play. As a part of our Legacy Campaign, we came together to show our community how the past and present of our legacy will inspire our future, and the dedicated individuals who have made this growth possible.
When the clock struck 5:30pm, our distinguished guests started making their way into the GVSU ballroom. We were greeted with shining smiles and friendly faces— some familiar, and some new friends alike! Before finding their seats, our guests were invited to complete activities with our therapists to get a better understanding of what they do.
At CTC, playtime is serious business!
After having some fun with our therapists and learning about the services we offer, guests turned in their completed activity cards for a chance to win one of our fabulous door prizes. Dinner was served, and door prizes were awarded. Lucky guests received our generously donated prizes including dog grooming from Handsome Hounds, craft wines from Cooper’s Hawk Winery, and movie passes from Celebration Cinema!
As the night progressed, we turned our attention to the award honorees to thank them for the way that they have shaped CTC’s legacy. The first Legacy Award recipient, Lori Pitts, served with CTC as a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 35 years. Having started with CTC as a young mom, her daughters grew up alongside our agency, and eventually joined us as volunteer staff for Therapy & Fun.
As we began to share video interviews with our esteemed award recipients, technical difficulties challenged us to rise above! The videos wouldn’t play on the projector screen, and in a moment of uncertainty, a member of our CTC family stepped up to the plate to share a personal story about the significant impact that Lori had on their child.
Watch Lori’s interview →
Our next Legacy Award recipient, Chris Kaiser, joined our board in 2003, after meeting our founder through his daughters’ volunteer service with Therapy & Fun. He currently serves as the Vice President of our board, and is celebrating over 20 years of devotion to our mission.
Our Director Team and Board President helped keep things moving along while the rest of our team worked to solve the technical hiccups, but to no avail! Chris’s award was presented to him, and our lovely guests helped celebrate him in spite of the unexpected change in the program.
← Watch Chris’s interview
Finally, we honored the future of CTC’s mission by presenting the Volunteer Award to Emma Erlenbeck. Last year’s honoree, Macie Zack, stepped up to the speaker’s podium to hand down the award— by sharing some of her own experiences as a recent graduate, Macie helped us celebrate the bright future ahead of Emma! Emma began volunteering with CTC when she was 14, and now joins us on our Activities Staff for Therapy & Fun. She’s currently a senior at Michigan State University, and well on her way to starting her professional career as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
We were so close to resolving the technical issues, but missed the opportunity to share Emma’s passion as a volunteer with CTC. She describes how CTC influenced her path, and her interview perfectly captures how our volunteers shape us just as much as we shape them.
Watch Emma’s Interview →
In a stroke of luck, the videos were back up and running, just in time for us to share Ben’s Story! Ben and his family are longtime friends of CTC, and we’ve had the honor of watching Ben grow from a toddler into a fine young man. Ben and his family watched from the audience, and his parents were beaming with a deep, emotional sense of pride.
This night was not only about honoring individuals who have made a difference in their community, but showcasing exactly what that impact looks like. Without people like Lori, Chris, and Emma, CTC wouldn’t be able to share stories as meaningful as Ben’s.
Join us in our Legacy Campaign by following our mission, spreading awareness, and donating to our campaign goal to raise $1,000,000 before the end of 2024. Thank you for helping us celebrate 40 years of service, as we look forward to 40 more!
Last but not least, thank you to our Comprehensive Therapy Center staff who helped bring this event to light.
Please enjoy images captured by TINYuproar Photography: