Last Friday, we had the opportunity to honor our community partners and celebrate success at our annual Partner Appreciation Breakfast. Nearly 70 people attended the event and enjoyed great food and sweeping views of Durham at the beautiful University Club. Representatives from our Smart Start partners, Durham Early Head Start, NC Pre-K, Transition to Kindergarten Initiative, Early Childhood Training Institute, United Way Collective Impact Collaboratives, and the Partnership’s Board of Directors gathered together to celebrate their work with young children and families. It was wonderful to be with so many friends as we recognized the inspiring success of these programs!
The program began with a greeting from Tracy Zimmerman, Executive Director of the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation, who expressed appreciation for our partners for making an essential impact in the lives of children and their families for the benefit of the whole community.
Executive Director Laura Benson then had an opportunity to recognize Bob Ashley, a member of our Board of Directors and editor of the Herald-Sun, who was recently awarded the Karen W. Ponder Leadership Award at the 2016 National Smart Start Conference. Bob then recognized each of our partners individually and thanked them on behalf of the Partnership and the Board of Directors.
As one way of celebrating success, we invited our partners to share a story with us. These motivating and moving stories were woven into a slideshow and presentation, creating a picture of the broad range of services, support, and leadership demonstrated by our partners throughout the past year. Closing out the event was the highly anticipated drawing for some wonderful door prizes, all of which were donated by generous sponsors.
We are so grateful for each and every one of our Partners who work so hard for our young children and families in Durham. Thank you for celebrating with us!