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Keeping the Promise
June 12, 2024

Applewood's Keeping the Promise luncheon brings together our supporters and community partners to share our mission of improving the lives of Ohio’s most at-risk children.

This year we are excited to welcome Cleveland Mayor Justin M. Bibb as this year’s Keeping the Promise keynote speaker.  Mayor Bibb’s commitment to ensuring the safety and mental well-being of children and families is just one of the many ways in which his administration is closely aligned with Applewood’s mission. We hope you'll join us for an inspiring discussion on how we are working together to make a positive impact on the lives of young people in our community.

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Past Events

Keeping the Promise 2023

Guest Speaker: Eric Gordon, Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, reflected on his 12 years of service at the helm of the District (CMSD) and the intersection of the behavioral health and social emotional needs of CMSD students with the services provided by Applewood Centers.  Applewood Centers is proud of its partnership with CMSD, providing critically needed behavioral health services to students and families in CMSD, including School-Based Counseling, Therapeutic After School Program and Family Therapy.

Keeping the Promise 2022

Guest Speaker: Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University, discussed how to address the pandemic’s toll on children by providing them with the tools they need to develop their character, self-awareness and interpersonal skills.

Keeping the Promise 2021

Guest Speaker: Dr. Scott S. Cowen, Interim President of Case Western University and President Emeritus of Tulane University.  Dr. Cowen shared his insights on postpandemic challenges Applewood is likely to face in our work with vulnerable youth, and how resiliency will be the key to emerging stronger as a community.

2021 Community Partner Award:  Jamie & Kathy Hogg.  Collectively, the Hoggs have been a beacon of leadership and loyalty by serving on the Applewood Board of Directors for nearly 25 years. 

Keeping the Promise 2019

Guest Speaker: Paula McClain, critically acclaimed New York Times and international bestselling author. A Cleveland resident, Ms. McLain shared her personal experience growing up in the foster care system and overcoming the odds.

Keeping the Promise 2018

Guest Speaker: Scott Simon, National Public Radio and Author. Scott Simon shared his family’s adoption journey — from struggling to conceive, to deciding to adopt, to traveling halfway around the world — that led to his adoption of two daughters from China.

Keeping the Promise 2017

Guest Speaker: Regina Brett, New York Times Bestselling Author. Regina Brett spoke on how to be the miracle you want to see in the world in ways that will strengthen our youth, families and community.

2017 Community Partner Award: Thomas Stafford, a partner at Ernst & Young who served as the lead on many key global accounts, the National Audit Quality Group and Global Professional Development Group.

Keeping the Promise 2016

Guest Speakers: Steven Dettelbach, Former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio; Detective John Morgan, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department; and Karen Walsh, Director of the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking Panel on human trafficking and the resiliency of survivors.

Keeping the Promise 2015

Guest Speaker: Jenniffer D. Deckard, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Fairmount Santrol. Remarks from the heart of a long-time advocate of foster care who believes every child deserves a chance for success.

2015 Community Partner Award: Joan Ainsworth, Senior Development Officer at the Cleveland Museum of Art and former Director of Development and President’s Programs at Case Western Reserve University

Keeping the Promise 2014

Guest Speaker: Cleveland Municipal Judge Michael Ryan. A true story of resiliency; overcoming obstacles, working hard and loving to learn.

2014 Community Partner Award: The Eleanor Gerson Family & Dan Margolis. Eleanor Gerson was a Cleveland activist and philanthropist who championed the causes of women and children and made significant contributions to the community in the areas of education and social services.