Experiment in Self-Reliance (ESR) hosted a Winter Wonderland at the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter fundraiser event on Sunday, February 10 to honor donors and celebrate the winter season.
The Winter Wonderland fundraiser was an opportunity to raise funds for ESR’s programs and services, as well as a time of fellowship and thanksgiving for donors, partners, and friends. Participants were able to connect with staff, clients, and community partners while learning about the impact of ESR’s services.
The event also served to honor new members of the agency’s donor society. The Louise G. Wilson Legacy Society was established in 2015 to honor the legacy of the late Louise G. Wilson who served as ESR’s Executive Director from 1968-1985. Members of the group donate $1000 or more to the agency’s Annual Fund each year. New members of the Louise Wilson Legacy Society were inducted at the event with a celebratory pinning ceremony led by Roebuck and Adam Neiberg, ESR’s Board Chair. “We want Mrs. Wilson’s legacy in our community to live on,” said Executive Director, Twana W. Roebuck. “That’s why we established the Louise G. Wilson Legacy Society, and we hope it will continue to grow as more people learn about ESR and her impact. She continues to live on through her work that is still prevalent at ESR today, in her family, and those who knew her.” Also present was Ronald Edward Jennings, grandson of Louise G. Wilson, and his two sons.
Roebuck welcomed the guests, followed by Reverend Dr. Michael Robinson who gave the invocation. Food, fellowship, and entertainment by DJ Diamond HD (Ellen Leak-Forbes) ensued. Roebuck recognized lead sponsors which included BB&T, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, and Reynolds American. Judge Lisa Menefee, Forsyth County District Court Seat 2, Florence Corpening, Winter Wonderland Co-Chair, and Mayor Pro Tempore Dr. Vivian H. Burke, City Council Member of the North Ward, gave greetings from the past, sharing their connection to ESR’s past and programs and services from the early days. Speaking on behalf of the present was Fred Bazemore, ESR’s Director of Programs and Operations, and Alice Everett who shared her success story as a graduate of the New Century IDA Program. The future of ESR was shared by Neiberg, along with the recognition of volunteers. Following a performance by Galvin Crisp, Lindsey Yarborough, Director of Community Relations, gave greetings on behalf of the Innovation Quarter. Galvin Crisp continued his performance and participants were able to bid throughout the night on silent auction items.
Neiberg, who has served on ESR’s board for many years before becoming Board Chair in 2018, was pleased with the turnout. “It was a great time and packed event at the Innovation Quarter as we celebrated and educated the attendees about the positive impact ESR has on Winston-Salem and Forsyth County residents,” said Neiberg.
Dr. Brenda Latham-Sadler and Florence Corpening, who served as co-chairs for the event, and have actively supported ESR throughout the years. Dr. Latham-Sadler and Corpening worked tirelessly to raise the most funds possible to support the agency’s services, and bring the community together. “I loved the experience,” said Corpening. “Winter Wonderland was an event that helped our community know ESR a little bit better and a time where friends came together to celebrate its wonderful history. It was a pleasure serving with Dr. Brenda Latham-Sadler.”
In addition to the event co-chairs, the event was planned with a committee of community volunteers and staff. Volunteers included Marsha Davis, Board Member and Logistics Chair, Diana Bozzuto, Board Member and Silent Auction Chair, Dr. Eric Sadler, Advisory Board Member and Social Media Co-Chair, Nancy Young, community volunteer and Social Media Co-Chair, Reverend Dr. Michael Robinson, Faithbased Chair, Brenda Evans, community volunteer and former ESR employee, and Dierdre Hill, community volunteer.
ESR is a non-profit Community Action Agency that focuses on empowering people with low-moderate income to become self-reliant. Programs help provide housing, teach clients to save, budget, and improve credit scores, provide assistance for education, and help clients build assets like homeownership, as well as free tax preparation. All clients must be working.
For more information on ESR’s services or the Louise G. Wilson Legacy Society, visit ESR’s website at www.eisr.org or call 336-722-9400.