By Lynn Selich | Society Editor
Nearly 400 guests packed the ballroom at the Hyatt Irvine for the MIND Research Institute’s Annual Awards Dinner in honor of outstanding schools and educators at the heart of MIND’s mission to improve math education and student proficiency. The fundraiser successfully raised more than $500,000.
Mistress of Ceremony Maria Hall-Brown of KOCE introduced keynote speaker, astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman to orbit the earth, who gave a riveting overview of her two trips aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, emphasizing the need for children to become adept in math and science.
MIND supporters in the audience included Carol and Budge Collins, Steve and Kirsten DeMars, Janet and Walkie Ray, Lysanne and Rick Sebastian, OC Superintendent Bill Habermehl, Michelle and David Horowitz, event co-chair Vivian McCluney and husband Jim, Allan and Stefani Simon, Jeanina Esparza, Chris and Linda Elftmann, co-chair Lynn Selich and husband Ed, Janice and Ted Smith, Ben Warner, Mike and Ellie Gordon and Pat and Bill Podlich.
One of the highlights of the evening came when Chief Area Officer from Chicago Public Schools Area Thirteen, a rough neighborhood on the south side of the city spoke about the increase in math scores he has seen in the 26 schools MIND currently serves in the area. An adorable Alexus Clark, a student from Anthony Overton Elementary located in Area Thirteen had the crowd on their feet after she described how ST Math has helped her to learn and excel in her math learning. The evening was not only a successful fundraiser, it left everyone in the room with a feeling of hope for the children that the MIND Institute serves. For more information, go to www.mindresearch.net.