City Year’s recognizable emblem and signature red – the color of the jackets that AmeriCorps members wear while tutoring and mentoring students – could be seen throughout Messina’s at the Terminal on April 25 for the organization’s benefit party, “School House Rock.” Many of the guests even wore red in support of the AmeriCorps members for whom they came to celebrate.
The program included an address from City Year New Orleans’s First Lady Cheryl Landrieu, who, along with her husband, has been a long time City Year supporter. Event Co-Chairs Cathy McRae and Patty Riddlebarger graciously thanked the Host Committee and event sponsors. Vice President and Executive Director Meli Manuselis introduced the School House Rock Stars, the night’s honorees: Ana and Dr. Juan Gershanik. Ana and Juan were honored for their lifetime of service to the children of New Orleans, and support of the multiple classes of City Year AmeriCorps members that have served our city’s children throughout the years.
Ana and Juan received their own City Year red jackets, presented to them by a current AmeriCorps member. Additionally, four City Year AmeriCorps members took to the stage and gave the audience a glimpse of their year – from incredible breakthrough moments while tutoring and mentoring their students, to moments of personal growth and reflection, to the bittersweet end of their year of service.
A jazz band from New Orleans Center for Creative Arts serenaded guests throughout the evening. The dinner and dessert selection was provided by Messina’s Catering. The bar served, amongst other beverages, beer donated by Urban South Brewery.
The Host Committee and Sponsors received City Year New Orleans mugs, filled with sweets made by Java Ram at Opportunities Academy, a post-secondary program run by one of City Year New Orleans’ partner schools, George Washington Carver High School of the Collegiate Academy network.
Funds from this event allow City Year New Orleans to sustain and grow its programs in six Orleans Parish public schools, where AmeriCorps members serve as tutors and mentors for a full school year.
Event at a Glance
What: “School House Rock,” benefiting City Year New Orleans
When: Wednesday, April 25
Where: Messina’s at the Terminal, Lakefront Airport
Host Committee Member Todd Battiste and Co-Chair Cathy McRae
Vice President of New Site Development George Deveney, AmeriCorps member Alex Asaro and Regional Vice President Ryann Denham