“Peaces” of Art Celebration for the Padua Center

Suzette Cowell, Aletha Easterly, Bishop Pat McKinstry

By Angie Hayes
The Truth Reporter

The “Peaces” of Art Celebration held October 8, 2023, at the Sullivan Center. The event began with socializing and networking opportunities, supported by live music from the Straight Up Group including: drummer Will Kinsey, pianist Kevin Korecki, bass player Norm Damschroder and saxophone player Father Art.

The event began with the arrival and recognition of the Mistress of Ceremonies, Layan Ridi.  Her opening speech and welcoming provided consideration and gratitude for all in attendance. Then followed the prayer by Reverend Niewiadomski. A “Feasting Session” was next in line: dining stations were set up and provided food for all in attendance.

Artwork categories prepared and presented for the auction were: Beautiful Art, Jewelry, In The Kitchen, Entertainment, For The Children.

The Silent Auction began with a large variety of art objects. Silent Auction tables were open for bid submissions, for anyone interested in the artwork.  Bidding winners received the artwork immediately and possessed personally.

The following information was provided by members of the Center.

Anita Prielipp stated “Just brought back to Padua Center, the ‘Emerging Young Ladies Program’: for any girls, middle school on up. Jamie is part of it. We teach the girls how to emerge as young ladies.”

The Padua Center staff and volunteers

“This is our 15th event, this is our signature FUNDRAISER,” said Dennis Jarrett, Padua Center president of the board of directors. “We have a FUN raiser in July! We survive on donations and contributions. Everything we do is for free:  after school tutoring, youth and adult education classes and counseling.”

Layan Ridi, mistress of ceremonies, added: “I am very passionate about making a meaningful impact in my community, in whatever way I can. My goal is to inspire those around me, younger and older, to do the same in order to move to a greater future.”

Padua Promoter Awards were presented to Bishop Robert Culp and Mary Jane Flores.

Bishop Culp, recently retired as pastor of First Church of God, was honored for 62 years of commitment, dedication and support to the church and community. Bishop Culp has long been recognized for his passion for social and racial justice.

Flores, a retired nurse who served in the U.S. Navy,  is was recognized for her support for the Padua Center and for her 27 years of mission work and trips to the Dominican Republic.

This year’s Padua Volunteer Awards were presented to Liz Facey and Tom McDonald, two people who give so much effort and support to improve the city and help the children.  Both have provided their knowledge and experience to help the atmosphere over a consistent period of time.

The Padua Center Mission: To be a Christian community-based presence empowering people at all stages of life, to achieve their maximum potential through education, counseling, support and community involvement.