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Class of 2013 raises record amount for charity, scholarships

The Leadership Berks Class of 2013 dreamed more and learned more – and the result was a record amount of nearly $19,000 raised for charity and scholarships.

The 22 members of the Class of 2013 graduated in June at the Crown Plaza Hotel Reading in Wyomissing before more than 250 guests. An Alvernia University program, Leadership Berks provides programs that develop, support and connect community leaders in Greater Reading and Berks County.

The class combined two traditions into one event April 7, the Brighter Than The Sun 5K Run/Walk at Schlegel Park in Reading. The event raised more than $18,000 to benefit the program’s 2013-2014 scholarship fund and the Olivet Boys and Girls Club that serves Reading and Berks County.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader,” Leadership Berks class president Alayne Galley said in citing the words of John Quincy Adams.

“Our class had the desire to ‘dream more and ‘learn more’ by enhancing our fundraising, event planning and project management skills,” Galley said at the graduation and awards ceremony.

The class raised more than $8,700 for Olivet Boys and Girls Club – in addition to the craft supplies that it collected for the club. The class also raised $10,050 for the 2013-2014 Leadership Berks Scholarship Fund.

“Today, we celebrate the class’ greatest accomplishment of all,” Leadership Berks Executive Director Toni Eckert said at the ceremony. “That their collective efforts and fine example serve as a terrific reminder that the actions of a few can inspire others to dig a little deeper, reach a little farther and do just a little more.”

The ceremony recognized the Class of 2013’s completion of the nine-month core program of Leadership Berks, which for nearly 30 years has been a critical source of leadership development and nonprofit board education.

The event also featured the presentation of Leadership Berks’ the annual Art of Leadership Legacy and Distinguished Alumni awards.

• The Art of Leadership Legacy Award was presented to Herbein + Co. Inc. to recognize the firm for its contributions to the community, illustrated by charitable donations, event sponsorships and support of employee work-release to participate in Leadership Berks programs and to engage in service to various organizations throughout the community. Commissioned by the Leadership Berks Core Program Class of 1989, the stained glass artwork remains for display with the firm for one year.

• The Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Virginia Dodge, Class of 2010, in recognition for her volunteer service and support for Leadership Berks and other community improvement programs and initiatives. Her personal and professional accomplishments exemplify exceptional community leadership and extraordinary commitment to community engagement and service to others.

The ceremony was sponsored by the O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service – whose mission is to foster and promote ethical leadership and public service at Alvernia and in the broader community. The ceremony included video presentations on the impact of the Leadership Berks programs and included commentary from community leaders and members of the class expressing the value and impact of the program on the professional life in Greater Reading and Berks County.

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