Message from the Event Chairs

Dear Friends,

We are two weeks away from Project GRAD Akron's Achieving Dreams Celebration Gala on Saturday, October 15th. The committee has been planning an exciting event and we hope that you plan to join us for  "An Evening To Remember" at the John S. Knight Convention Center in downtown Akron, Ohio. It is not too late to purchase tickets, sponsorships, or to make a donation.  The Gala will include valet parking, a reception, dinner, Champions of GRAD awards, a keynote speaker, silent and oral auctions, raffles, desserts, dancing, and so much more! You don't want to miss this fun event!  

Project GRAD Akron is celebrating our 20th year of providing programs, services, and scholarships to benefit students in the Akron Public Schools.  We are excited to announce that the first $50,000 of the Gala’s net proceeds will support scholarships for students we serve at Buchtel and East in the Akron Public Schools, and the additional revenue will support our programs and services for students from kindergarten through college. We hope that we can count on your support!

Please watch our interview on Sunday, October 2, 2022 at 7:30 a.m. on WKYC-TV "We The People" with Leon Bibb, our honoree and emcee for this year's Gala.  

Thank you to everyone who have already supported this almost sold-out event!  It is truly appreciated!  For additional information, please call 330-761-3113 or email [email protected]. You don't want to miss "An Evening to Remember" or miss an opportunity to support the important work that is being done to support students and families!  Thank you! 

Jacqueline Silas-Butler, Esq.                           Pamela R. Valentine

Executive Director                                             Past Board Chairperson  

Event Co-Chairperson                                       Event Co-Chairperson  

Purchase Tickets

🎓 Champions of GRAD Honorees

Leon Bibb

Laurie Curfman

Curtis Eaton, Jr.

Mary Outley

Dr. Sylvester Small

Dr. Timothy McCarragher

Representing organization Champion:  The University of

Akron School of Social Work

🎓 Keynote Speaker

The Honorable Maureen O'Connor

Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court

Maureen O’Connor is the tenth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio, the first woman to lead the state judicial branch of government, a Cleveland-Marshall School of Law graduate, and a member of the Cleveland-Marshall Hall of Fame. She is the longest-serving statewide elected woman in Ohio history.

Learn more about Justice Maureen O'Connor here.

🎓 Thank you to Our Honorary Chairpersons

Our Honorary Chairpersons are Christine Fowler-Mack and Dr. David James, the current and immediate past Superintendents of the Akron Public Schools, respectively. 

🎓 Stay Tuned for our Online Auction!

Project GRAD Akron is thrilled with the generous donations of auction items for our Gala! The Auction Committee has been working overtime to bring you many incredible items, which include jewelry, artwork, trips, collectibles, various experiences, sports tickets, goods, services, merchandise, and so much more! We look forward to sharing it with you! The online auction goes live on October 3rd! Stay tuned for our updates!

🎓 Raffles - Toast to Luck and Dollars for Scholars!

"Toast to Luck" Lottery Raffle

Each year for Project GRAD Akron's Achieving Dreams Celebration Gala, we have an amazing Lottery Raffle that includes over 250 lottery tickets. This year's Lottery Raffle theme is "Toast to Luck!" The lucky winner will receive the display, including all of the tickets, and some additional surprises! You must be 18 years or older to enter.  You do not need to be present to win.

"Dollars for Scholars" 50/50 Raffle

A maximum of 200 tickets will be sold at $20.00 each for a maximum amount of $4,000.00. The winner will receive 50% of the proceeds (maximum of $2,000.00) and Project GRAD Akron will receive 50% of the proceeds (maximum of $2,000.00) to benefit the PGA Scholarship Fund. You must be at least 18 years of age to participate. 

You do not need to be present to win.

Purchase Raffle Tickets
Purchase 50/50 Tickets

🎓 Event Sponsors

Sponsors as of September 28, 2022

Presenting Sponsor

Scholar Sponsor

Achiever Sponsors

Cleveland Clinic Akron General

FedEx Custom Critical

State & Federal Communications, Inc.

The University of Akron

United Way of Summit & Medina

Mentor Sponsors

Akron Community Foundation – Gertrude F. Orr Trust Advised Fund

Alpha Phi Alpha Foundation of Akron, Ohio

Roger and Sally Read

Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro's Department of Job & Family Services

The Maynard Family Foundation

Collaborator Sponsors

Akron Area YMCA

Akron Children's Hospital

Belsky-Waits Family

Dr. David and Jeanetta James

Steve Johnson & Laurie Zuckerman

Dana & Frank LaGarde

Meaden & Moore

PNC Foundation


Stark State College

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Marketing Sponsor

Amp Strategy

Music Reception Sponsor

Akron Municipal Court Judges

Ticket & Sponsorship Information

Learn more about Project GRAD Akron today!


Phone: 330-761-3113; Email: [email protected]

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