“Why Character Matters” will be the program topic of Haiti Partners’ annual luncheon “Stories of Gratitude” to be held Friday, January 31 beginning at 11:30 AM at the Quail Valley River Club.
Headquartered in Vero Beach, Haiti Partners is an international organization founded in 2009 and its mission is to help Haitians change Haiti through education. The luncheon is an opportunity to thank current supporters and share the story of Haiti Partners with those new to the non-profit organization and its mission. Local Vero Beach supporters helped to ensure 1200 students returned to school at the organization’s Children’s Academy and Learning Center (CALC) and six partner schools in Haiti during one of that country’s most challenging points in history.
Founding partner, John Engle, who now resides in Vero Beach, lived in Haiti most of the time since 1991. He determined early on that education is the only path to build a stronger and more democratic Haiti. “With the partnership of Haitians and Americans in Haiti and in the US,” says Engle, “we are working to change the mindset of a people who have endured unbelievable natural and political disasters. To do this we are combining a high quality school, a socially oriented business and a learning center for local residents and visiting Haitian educators who share our goals of improving society through education. It has proven a catalyst for redefining the role of schools in community development.”
The “Stories of Gratitude” luncheon provides local residents with an in-depth look at how Haiti Partners has the opportunity to bring about a promising future for the next generation of Haitians. The luncheon will be highlighted by guest speaker, Deanna Slamans, who currently serves as secretary on the Haiti Partners international Board of Directors.
Slamans is an author, educator and conference workshop leader who formerly wrote the Leadership and Character Education curriculum at Milton Hershey School where she and her husband, Andy, worked for 14 years. Deanna is the author of a memoir titled Faith’s Pursuit: Understanding God’s Faithfulness in Suffering and The House That Chocolate Built: Parenting At the Sweetest School On Earth, a story about her family’s career while house parenting at Milton Hershey. Deanna holds a master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Temple University. She lives with her husband, Andy, and their two children, Korri and AJ, in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Slamans will be joined at the podium with brief remarks by John Engle, Haiti Partners director and CALC co-founder Merline Engle. Luncheon reservations may be made by calling 772-539-8521 or online at https://haitipartners.org/get-involved/events/vero-beach-activities/ and tickets are $40 per person.
Haiti Partners is a 501(c)(3) certified organization. To learn more, visit our website at www.haitipartners.org or our new work and gathering space at 1531 US Hwy 1 (Kmart Plaza) next to ACT Computers in Vero Beach.