One Hope United’s 5th Annual Gala, Hope In Action: Why I Have Hope

One Hope United’s 5th Annual Gala, Hope In Action: Why I Have Hope, Features The Glee Project Alum Mario Bonds, May 3, 2019 at Hilton Chicago.

Guests will hear inspiring stories of hope and courage while enjoying a night of entertainment, dining and giving back.

CHICAGO — One Hope United, one of the country’s leading human services nonprofits, presents its 5th Annual Hope In Action gala, Friday, May 3, 2019 at the Hilton Chicago, featuring Mario Bonds, a national entertainer whose life symbolizes the meaning of hope. The 6 p.m. Why I Have Hope gala (5:30 p.m. VIP reception) is in the Hilton’s Grand Ballroom, 720 S. Michigan Ave.,. Tickets available at http://www.onehopeunited.org/hopeinaction.

Blind by the age of 10 and a survivor of childhood trauma, Mario Bonds is a motivational speaker, published author, singer-songwriter, and breakout star of NBC Universal’s The Glee Project.  Bonds’ unforgettable and powerful performance in song is living proof of how anyone can rise to meet any challenge.

Born with a degenerative condition that destroyed his eyesight, Bonds faced abuse, homelessness, and abandonment, yet, he never suffered from hopelessness. In his memoir, Without Sight but Full of Vision, Bonds describes how through hard work, perseverance, and personal responsibility we can all become “master of our destinies.” Bonds, who was adopted at the age of 16, is a licensed foster care provider in the process of adopting two teenage boys.

Also during Hope In Action: Why I Have Hope, One Hope United will honor extraordinary individuals who support the organization’s mission to provide every family and every child a “life without limits.”

They include 96-year-old volunteer Nannie Crudup, honored with the fifth annual Ermit Finch Impact Award.  Crudup is one of One Hope United’s most committed volunteers, giving her time nearly every school day for the past 26 years, helping the staff and three- to five-year-old children at One Hope United’s Bridgeport Child Development Center.

Patrick Kingston, Customer Development Manager at Tyson Foods will be recognized with One Hope United’s Chairwoman’s Award for his commitment to community advancement, empowering nonprofits, and inspiring leadership. Veteran One Hope United executive Todd Schultz, President of Restoration Ministries, will be honored with The President’s Award for his commitment to nonprofit stability, transparency, and leadership.

Guests at Hope In Action: Why I Have Hope will enjoy cocktails, a seated dinner, and the chance to bid on a wide variety of auction items. VIP ticket holders can meet Mario Bonds at a private reception preceding the gala.

“One Hope United is thrilled to welcome Mario Bonds, who understands the challenges and traumas that many of our clients face, and whose resilience is an inspiration and a testament to the types of services we provide,” says new President and CEO Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer.

“We’re also excited to add a new twist this year by debuting Hope After Dark, immediately following our gala at Hilton Chicago,” Montorio-Archer adds. “The after-event experience is the perfect complement to Hope In Action for supporters who might not typically attend a gala but love dressing up for a great cause.”

Hope After Dark, from 10 p.m. to midnight, is presented by One Hope United’s Chicago Ambassador Board and features a selection of beers, wines and cocktails, as well as live house and dance music provided by DJ Lady D. Hope After Dark tickets ($100) can be purchased in advance at https://onehopeunited.org/hopeafterdark, or when guests arrive at the Hilton Chicago Grand Ballroom. All tickets for the Hope In Action: Why I Have Hope Gala ($300, $400 VIP) include admission to Hope After Dark.

“Many young professionals have told us they want to support our event, while at the same time living within their charitable giving budgets,” says Mike Carpenter, One Hope United’s Chicago Ambassador Board Chair. “The Hope After Dark party appeals to a new and broader audience of donors and we hope it will become one of the highlights of the Spring gala season.”

WCIU TV reporter and host Jon Hansen will serve as Hope In Action’s Master of Ceremonies. Hansen is an Emmy-nominated reporter and a talk show host for WGN 720 AM and can be seen on WCIU’s The Jam and Now.Chicago.

Tickets for Hope in Action: Why I Have Hope are available here.

Tickets for Hope After Dark are available here.

One Hope United would like to thank the following Why I Have Hope sponsors for their support:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel George Architects          Grant Staff, Inc.       Michelle Damico Communications           StrateBen         Ultimate Software

Continental Benefits.       Terra Properties               WT Group

 

About One Hope United
One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs including early education, foster care, adoption, residential, and other support services. What began in 1895 as a children’s home in Chicago now serves 9,000 children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida and employs nearly 800 passionate and talented professionals. For more information, please visit http://www.onehopeunited.org.

One Hope United Names
Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer
President and CEO

Entrepreneur, author and attorney co-founded, led and merged nonprofit The THRIVE Network in New York City

One Hope United’s board of directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer as the organization’s President and CEO. Dr. Montorio-Archer, a successful New York nonprofit entrepreneur, child and family advocate, attorney and author assumed the leadership position last month following a national search.

Founded in Chicago in 1895 and based there to this day, One Hope United is one of the oldest and most respected human service nonprofits in the country. Today, the organization provides education, foster care, adoption, counseling, residential and other support services to over 9,000 children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida.

Dr. Montorio-Archer co-founded The THRIVE Network in 1996 and served as its CEO for another 11 years before successfully merging the organization with The New York Foundling. THRIVE, which continues to operate under its own name, is a $36 million nonprofit organization that assists individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout New York City.

“Charles is a transformational leader who has demonstrated a passion for empowering all people to live with dignity and respect,” says Theresa A. Dear, Board Chair of One Hope United. “With his proven leadership, and his commitment to helping others reach their full potential, he is the ideal person to lead One Hope United to our next level of greatness as we work to help every child and family live life without limits.”

“I am thrilled to become part of the One Hope United family and community,” says Dr. Montorio-Archer. “When I began as a direct support professional in this industry over 25 years ago, I quickly recognized that, while our life circumstances may vary, we all want and deserve the same access to opportunity. That starts with the supports and services that One Hope United is so committed to providing – education, family support, a place to live and thrive, and connection to loved ones, as well as being recognized within our society. These are the building blocks to a life without limits, and I look forward to working with my new colleagues to help bring these to every child and family.”

Dr. Montorio-Archer has written three books, most recently Everybody Paddles: A Leader’s Blueprint for Creating A Unified Team, which provides a management model for reaching strategic alignment and accelerating organizational change through respect, collaboration and leadership. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Lincoln University, a Master’s degree in Public Administration from CUNY Baruch College, a JD from Brooklyn Law School and a PhD in public policy from Walden University. From 2001 to 2004, he served as Assistant District Attorney in Kings County, Brooklyn, NY. Then from 2004 to 2007, he served as the Associate Executive Director for the InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies, where he advocated at the city, state, and federal levels for program development, business sustainability, and policy and regulatory reform.

In addition, Dr. Montorio-Archer has served on numerous boards, presented two TEDx Talks (“The Friendship Clause” and “IDENTITYphobia”), contributes to Forbes and Huffington Post, and has been featured on television, radio, print, and other media outlets.

Dr. Montorio-Archer succeeds Todd Schultz, who has been acting CEO for the last year. Schultz will remain a part of the Executive Leadership Team as the Chief Transition Officer.

About One Hope United
One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs including early education, foster care, adoption, counseling, residential, and other support services. What began in 1895 as a children’s home in Chicago now serves 9,000 children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida and employs nearly 800 passionate and talented professionals. For more information, please visit www.onehopeunited.org.

MEDIA CONTACT
Michelle Damico
Michelle Damico Communications
michelle@michelledamico.com
312-423-6627

10 One Hope United Early Education Centers Now NAEYC Accredited

Rigorous quality assessment puts OHU early learning centers in nation’s top 10 percent.

One Hope United now has 10 early education centers that have received accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.

Waukegan Early Learning Center joins nine other One Hope United child care and early education centers that have already earned this prestigious mark of quality, including Aurora Early Learning Center, Elgin Child & Family Resource Center, and Sprouted Child Care & Early Education (Wilmette) . All of One Hope United’s eligible centers are now accredited or undergoing accreditation by NAEYC.

In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized and coveted sign of high-quality early childhood education. Less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.

NAEYC Accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards across four categories—children, teaching staff, partnerships with families and communities, and administration—to recognize and drive holistic quality in early learning programs.

With guidelines for everything from teacher preparation to safety standards, NAEYC Accreditation ensures that programs are safe, well prepared, and intentional about ensuring children’s success. As a reputable indicator of quality, NAEYC Accreditation correlates with children’s greater readiness and success in school and beyond, increased educational attainment rates, and overall healthier lifestyles.

Find a NAEYC Accredited One Hope United center in your area:

Western Suburbs

City of Chicago

Northern Suburbs

*Opened in July 2016, Joliet Early Learning Center is still in the accreditation process.

      5 Things to Know about Head Start

      All parents want to provide the best opportunities for their children to learn, grow and thrive. This is especially true when it comes to education. No child should miss out on a quality education because of their family’s ability to pay.

      That’s why One Hope United is pleased to offer Head Start or Early Head Start programing at four of our child care and early education centers. These programs combine quality child care and education with other programing and resources to help set every child up for success:

      Not sure if your family is eligible? It’s easy to find out and One Hope United is here for you every step of the way.

      Here are five things you should know about the Head Start Program at One Hope United:

      1. Head Start Seeks to Give Every Child an Equal Chance

      Head Start, a federally funded program, is designed to give every child equal access to the resources and support they need. Established in 1965 for low-income families, Head Start promotes school readiness for children ages birth to five. These programs enhance children’s social and cognitive development by offering children and their families educational, nutritional, health, social and other services.

      The services Head Start provides are designed to set up children for success by the time they are ready to start kindergarten. One Hope United combines Head Start with child care assistance to provide a full day of early childhood care and education for families who are working or in school at a significantly reduced cost.

      2. It’s Easy to Find Out if You Qualify for Head Start

      There are four ways you and your child can qualify for Head Start:

      1. You meet the income qualifications, OR
      2. You receive public assistance, OR
      3. Your child is in foster care, OR
      4. You or your child lack permanent housing.

      Families with children from birth to age five who meet specific criteria in any one of these four categories can receive Head Start or Early Head Start programming. Families receiving public assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income), or families with low incomes, according to the Poverty Guidelines published by the Federal government, are eligible.

      One Hope United has family support specialists to assist families with the eligibility process. Families can either call or walk-in to one of the Bridgeport, Edgewater or Waukegan centers with proof of income and the child’s birth certificate. They will then fill out an application (One Hope United can provide assistance) and complete an interview. The family will soon receive a notice about their child’s/children’s eligibility. The eligibility/enrollment process can be started at anytime during the year.

      3. Parents Receive Support, Too!

      All Head Start families have a family support specialist that they work with for as long as they participate in the program. Assistance in finding medical providers, mental health professionals, and nutrition counseling are just some of the services that are provided. Plus, families receive two home visits that serve as building blocks to establishing a positive relationship.

      Many of One Hope United’s staff are bilingual. If there is a language barrier, One Hope United will provide translation support services. We want to clearly communicate with families so they understand the services they’re eligible for and feel comfortable with all we can provide.

      4. Parents Are Part of Their Child’s Education

      One Hope United families who are part of the Head Start program are actively involved with their child’s education by helping to set goals and determining how best to support their child.

      Parents and One Hope United teachers and staff have at least two parent conferences a year where assessments are reviewed, strengths are determined and priorities are set for continued development.

      5. We Offer Quality Education For All

      One Hope United’s Head Start locations in Bridgeport and Edgewater are accredited by NAEYC (The National Association of Education of Young Children), a distinction held by only 6% of centers in the country. A NAEYC accredited center is one that is recognized as providing exceptional care and a variety of educational, developmental, and personal services. All preschool classrooms are led by a licensed teacher who is certified to teach up to the third grade.

      The suburban Waukegan location is currently undergoing accreditation by NAEYC. This location offers Early Head Start services to low-income infants, toddlers and their families.

      At One Hope United it is our vision to help every child, every family live a life without limits. If you feel limited by the specific circumstances that makes your family eligible for Head Start, please contact one of our centers today or use the form below.

      Contact Us

      One Hope United to Name Edgewater Early Learning Space for Toni Sandor Smith

      Edgewater and Andersonville families and community members are invited to a dedication event and open house at One Hope United Edgewater Early Learning Center Friday, August 17, starting at 12:30 PM. Parents, children, community leaders, and neighbors are invited to tour the center, located at 5244 N. Lakewood Ave. (enter on W. Berwyn Ave. just west of Lakewood), and enjoy refreshments and a musical performance by award-winning saxophonist Michael Salter following a dedication ceremony.

      The ribbon-cutting ceremony will name a learning space for Toni Sandor Smith, a member of One Hope United’s board of directors for nearly 20 years. Smith, a retired partner of the executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart, lives in Edgewater and is a frequent visitor to the center and a favorite storybook reader of its students.

      Smith, a New York City native, moved to Chicago in 1963 and joined Spencer Stuart in 1970 as a receptionist. Four years later she became the firm’s first female consultant and eventually its first female partner. She founded and led the firm’s nonprofit practice and helped place executives in many of Chicago’s and the country’s leading nonprofits.

      Smith has been equally ambitious at One Hope United. She cofounded the organization’s first annual gala, which has grown into Hope In Action, an annual event that attracts more than 300 guests and raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to support work for children and families in Chicago and beyond.

      As a member of the board’s governance committee – and serving several terms as chair – Smith has helped evolve the board from a group of mission-dedicated volunteers to a team of accomplished executives who, in addition to a passion for the mission, bring fundraising capacity and professional expertise that allow them to be more strategic and proactive in steering the 120-year-old, $50 million organization.

      “As a member of our board of directors for nearly 20 years, Toni Sandor Smith has been an outstanding servant of One Hope United, seeing the organization through immense change and growth. I speak for the entire board when I say we are thrilled to recognize her service by naming a space for her in her own community, at the Edgewater Early Learning Center,” said board chair Theresa A. Dear.

      In addition to serving on One Hope United’s board, a role she will step down from next year, Smith has volunteered with the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Chicago Network, the Executive Service Corps of Chicago, Lakeview Pantry, the Oriental Institute, and Steppenwolf Theatre.

      Chicago native Michael Salter is an award-winning saxophonist, composer, and bandleader. Salter was nominated for a Grammy award for a salsa big band recording with Angel Melendez and the 911 Mambo Orchestra. Since July 2008, Salter has been a member of Orbert Davis’s Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. The group’s latest CD, Havana Blue, was listed as one of the best CDs of 2016 by Downbeat Magazine. A passionate and dedicated educator, Salter is also a Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Teaching Artist, which allows musicians from the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic to work directly with youth from Chicago Public Schools.

      Music by Michael Salter

      The Edgewater Early Learning Center, located in the North Shore Baptist Church, has been serving families in Chicago’s Edgewater and Andersonville neighborhoods with the highest quality early education and care for more than 30 years. Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the center provides individualized care for children, including children with special needs, in an environment designed to foster growth and development, and includes Head Start classrooms, which provide services and preschool to families living at or below the federal poverty level.

      Free and Open to the Public

      RSVP Requested at onehopeunited.wpengine.com/tonismith

      Questions? Call us at 773-907-0278

      Sprouted Child Care & Early Education Now Open!

      This month, our Wilmette child center officially reopened as Sprouted Child Care & Early Education, by One Hope United!

      Sprouted celebrated its grand opening Tuesday, July 27th. Parents, children, staff, and new and old neighbors and friends were invited to tour the new center at 3201 Old Glenview Road, as well as participate in a variety of fun, interactive activities. The special event featured healthy refreshments, a flower planting activity and an official ribbon cutting ceremony. There was even a fire truck and police cruiser on site for kids to explore!

       

      While the name and address are new, Sprouted has planted deep roots in the Wilmette community for more than 30 years and has served the education and child care needs of thousands of North Shore families.

      This new center has been redesigned from the ground up with little learners in mind, and its modern, nature-themed décor and unique design elements make every day a discovery waiting to happen.

      “Thank you for seeing the value in our program,” said Sprouted director Kristin Pettice as she prepared to cut the ribbon with her students. “We are just ecstatic to start this new chapter as Sprouted.” Kristin and the students were joined by OHU Chief Operation Officer, Margret Vimont, and Julie Yusim, Executive Director of the Wilmette/Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce in Wilmette.

      Great fun was had by all and everyone was very excited to offically welcome Sprouted to the neighborhood!

      Couldn’t attend the event? Call Sprouted at 847.256.6600 to schedule a tour!

      From Left: Margaret Vimont, COO, and Sonja Crum Knight, Executive Director, Early Learning & Child Development, at One Hope United; Kristin Pettice, Director of Sprouted; and Julie Yusim, Executive Director, Wilmette/Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce.
      Members of the Sprouted teaching staff.
      Sprouted students got to explore a real fire truck.
      Future firefighter in training.
      It almost fits!

      Supporters ‘Rise Up for Children’ at Hope In Action Fundraiser

      One of the most iconic figures of the 1960s civil rights movement—a little girl named Ruby Bridges, who came to represent the courage and dreams of an entire generation striving for racial equality—rose up for hope once again at One Hope United’s annual gala, Hope In Action: Rise Up for Children, on Saturday, May 4, at the Hilton Chicago.

      In conversation with Chicago Tonight‘s Brandis Friedman, Bridges recalled integrating New Orleans’s public schools at just six years old, and the courage it took her family to take that stand.

      Ruby Bridges (right) in conversation with Brandis Friedman

      “I remember people shouting and throwing things; I knew that if I got past the crowd and got into the school, everything was going to be OK,” Bridges said. But her mother would “pray every day until 3 o’clock” when Bridges made it safely home from school. Still, the family persevered, and Bridges’ mother taught her, “If you really wanted to see change, you had to step up to the plate and do it yourself.”

      Guests and sponsors of Hope In Action stepped up and raised over $261,000, a 6% net increase over the previous year. We’re very appreciative of the immense support that has been shown for our organization, which brings us one step closer to fulfilling our vision, “For every child and family, life without limits.”

      Two of the biggest highlights of the night were the presentations of the 4th Annual Ermit Finch Impact Award to Jeremy Harvey and the Leadership in Giving award to the Grand Victoria Foundation! Check out Jeremy’s inspiring story captured in the video below.

      Jeremy Harvey received the Ermit Finch Impact Award

      The evening concluded with an energetic and heartfelt performance by Miguel Cervantes, who plays Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton: An American Musical in Chicago. Cervantes spoke movingly about having the ability to meet the needs of his daughter Adelaide, who was diagnosed at a young age with epilepsy, and thanked the audience for rising up to support the children served by One Hope United.

      Miguel Cervantes (Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton – Chicago) performed.

      Visit us on Facebook to view all of the fun photos from the night. Be sure to tag yourself and your friends!

      Bridges with Adiat Baker (left) and Iya Bakare.

      A big thank you to all who came out to “Rise Up for Children” and help make the evening such a success. Didn’t have the chance to raise your paddle at Hope In Action 2018? You can still support OHU by clicking here.

       

      Sonja Crum Knight Named Executive Director for Early Childhood Programs

      Sonja Crum Knight

      Sonja Crum Knight, an early childhood leader committed to realizing high quality outcomes for children and families through education, practice, and advocacy, will join One Hope United as Executive Director of Early Learning and Child Development, beginning April 10, 2018.

      In this executive leadership role, Knight will oversee One Hope United’s 12 child care and early education centers, which provide high quality early care and education to over 2,200 children each year, as well as our home visiting programs, which help young and first-time parents navigate their new responsibilities and support their children’s development. All of these programs serve children and families living in northern Illinois and Chicago.

      “I am humbled and honored to join an organization with such a rich legacy of service to children and families,” said Knight.

      Knight comes to One Hope United from YMCA of the USA, where she served as technical advisor for early childhood equity improvement, leading a cohort of eight YMCA associations across the country to discover and improve strategies for improving access to high quality early care and education. She also has worked extensively with the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University as a quality assessor and trainer. She holds a PhD in education from Capella University and a master of education in early childhood administration from National Louis University.

      “I am thrilled to welcome Sonja Crum Knight to One Hope United,” said COO Margaret Vimont. “She brings a wealth of experience as a child care provider, quality assessor, and educator to early childhood professionals, along with a passion for equal access to early education and a highly inclusive management style. Together, these make her an excellent fit to lead our early learning and child development programs, which lay the foundation for our vision – For every child and family, life without limits.”

      Chance the Rapper’s SocialWorks Donates Toys to One Hope United Youth

      One Hope United is honored to announce that youth served in Chicago and throughout Illinois will benefit from the generosity of Chance the Rapper’s youth empowerment charity, SocialWorks, and WGN TV Morning News viewers.

      One Hope United was hand-picked by SocialWorks to receive a gigantic shipment of toys to its Lake Villa offices following the December 8, 2017 WGN Drive-Thru Toy Drive. The donations collected during the WGN TV Morning News will spread holiday joy to children in One Hope United’s residential homes, early learning centers, foster care, counseling and family services programs in the Chicago metropolitan area and downstate Illinois.

      “We’re blessed to have the opportunity to contribute to One Hope United,” said Justin Cunningham, Executive Director of SocialWorks. “Creating loving environments where youth can reach their full potential is at the heart of SocialWorks and I hope these toys bring smiles and hope to every child and family served,” he added.

      “One Hope United would like to thank SocialWorks, Chance the Rapper, and WGN TV for their generosity and hard work to enhance the lives and communities we serve,” said Scott Humphrey, President and CEO, One Hope United. “You’re showing the children and families in our programs that with dedication, friendship, and love, one can make a difference in people’s lives. We are grateful to SocialWorks help in spreading joy to thousands throughout Illinois,” he added.

      Senior Supervisor Corey Dickson works directly with some of the youth who will receive toys from the donation. “This is going to help so much,” he said. “They’re going to appreciate it a whole lot – especially coming from Chance the Rapper.”

      About SocialWorks
      SocialWorks aims to empower youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement while fostering leadership, accessibility, and positivity within the youth throughout Chicago. Using this framework for our interactive spaces and experiences, SocialWorks hopes to nurture local talent and open new doors much like what their founder, Chance the Rapper, has done in the music industry. Our initiatives, OpenMike, Warmest Winter, Parade to the Polls, and our New Chance: Arts & Literature Fund, were created to advocate for youth and the fulfillment of individual achievement and success in all its forms. We’re excited to continue to bring impact to the nation and we hope that you tag along for the ride. socialworkschi.org

      About One Hope United
      One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of early childhood education, prevention, intervention and community-based programs. The non-profit began over 120 years ago with the same vision it holds today: for every child and family, life without limits. One Hope United’s team of  800 talented professionals serves thousands of children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida. onehopeunited.wpengine.com

      Centralia Basketball ‘Court of Hope’ Dedicated in Honor of Sprehe Family

      When you drive into Centralia, Illinois, you’re greeted by a sign welcoming you to the “Home of the Winningest H.S. Basketball Team in the Nation.”

      One of the next things you see is One Hope United’s Centralia campus, with its newly restored basketball court.

      One Hope United’s board of directors raised funds to renovate the court – which serves as the heart of the campus and a gathering and recreation space for youth – and dedicated it as the Forrest D. and June L. Sprehe Court of Hope.

      Forrest Sprehe was a Centralia resident and longtime board member of One Hope United’s downstate region. He and his wife, June, were well known for their volunteerism and community support throughout the area.

      “I know Dad was involved in a lot of organizations, from the school board to his industry organizations, but One Hope United was closest to his and Mom’s heart,” said their son, Greg Sprehe, who followed in his father’s footsteps as a board member, most recently as board chair.

      “It was all about family for them,” Greg added. “Extending the resources they had – particularly the time Dad spent working with the organization – was, I know he would say, the most important work he ever did.”

      Misty Sprehe Wright and Greg Sprehe

      In addition to Greg’s service on the board, he and his wife, Victoria, frequently spend time on the Centralia campus, particularly around the holiday season, when they help the youth prepare dishes and decorate for the annual holiday party.

      Their dedication to service “doesn’t happen by accident; that’s a family value,” said Melissa Webster, One Hope United’s director of programs in Centralia. “And we know that that’s a generational value.”

      Both Greg and his sister, Misty Sprehe Wright, played in Centralia High School’s famed basketball program, so for them, the court was a fitting tribute to their parents.

      “These are our roots,” said Misty, who became Centralia’s first female to play basketball in grade school – playing on the boys team – and went on to become a PE teacher and coach. Addressing the Centralia campus youth at the court dedication, she said, “We have great memories, and we hope all you residents – you amazing, wonderful kids – enjoy basketball and enjoy these facilities as much as we have.”

      The October 4, 2017, dedication was attended by the Sprehe family and friends, Centralia community members, youth living on the Centralia campus, and One Hope United staff from Centralia and beyond. The youth wasted no time making use of the basketball court, inaugurating it with a tournament immediately following the program.

      “With the Sprehe family, it’s always been about the focus on kids and families and helping them reach their greatest potential,” said Scott Humphrey, President and CEO of One Hope United. “In my book, there’s nobody that embodies our vision about ‘life without limits’ better than the Sprehe family.”