Talk of the Town - April 2015
by Ellis Anderson
- This month - A Dream Playhouse is the chosen class project of Leadership Hancock County 2015, but it's hardly child's play. Find out about the Leadership program and the 2015 class goal to raise awareness for CASA!
The class’s project culminates with a “Raising the Roof” party taking place on Saturday, May 9th at the Ground Zero Museum in Waveland (335 Coleman Avenue). From 1pm to 3pm, there’ll be a “Raffle Pull” open to the public.
Procrastinators will be able to purchase tickets at the last moment and the drawing will take place around 3:30pm. The family-friendly event will also feature cook-out food (courtesy of Tri-R Bar & Grill), free tours of the museum and music – as well as fun and games for children.
The Raising the Roof Patrons’ Party for the event’s sponsors will begin immediately afterward at 3:30pm, lasting until 5pm. In addition to the cook-out food, wine (donated by Rosetti’s Liquor Barrel) and beer (donated by Lazy Magnolia Brewery) will be served.
Raffle tickets are $5 each or five for $20 and can be purchased online here.
The purpose of the project is two-fold: the class hopes to raise both awareness and money for the CASA program, as well as showcase the Waveland Ground Zero Museum.
The Hancock Chamber began the leadership program in 1996 to “identify and prepare the community’s existing and future leadership resources.” The group meets for an entire day each month for field trips and classes that develop an awareness of the community, develop networking skills and teach participants to make the most of their leadership abilities.
Since the program was introduced nearly two decades ago, thirteen classes have produced 320 graduates, many of whom have gone on to become “change agents for the good of Hancock County.”
For the past three years, Janell Nolan has served as the chair of the Chamber’s Steering Committee for Leadership Hancock County (LHC). She calls the program a community effort, saying that it wouldn’t be possible without the support of volunteers, sponsors and local businesses.
Nolan says that each September the new leadership class kicks off with a leadership assessment and an alumni meet and greet. That’s followed by a two-day retreat in October that focuses on team-building and leadership skills. That session sets the foundation for the next six months where the classes take a close look at the six building blocks integral to economic and community development in Hancock County: social infrastructure, workforce development, Stennis Space Center, economic development, civic infrastructure, and cultural heritage and preservation. The program also tasks each class with a project. LHC participants receive a certificate of graduation and celebrate their dedication and hard work in June, with a graduation ceremony and dinner.
Nolan’s a graduate of the 2006 leadership class and says she wouldn’t trade the experience “for anything.”
“The personal and professional relationships that are built in the leadership classes are invaluable.”
Nolan has observed a few things about the program. “Every year, it is truly inspiring to see how the LHC participants – whether collectively or individually, digest the nine-month experience and immediately begin working on fulfilling a need or taking on challenges to improve the quality of life in Hancock County. The 2015 class came up with an innovative plan that would benefit both CASA and the Ground Zero Museum.”
“The LHC Class of 2015 has been working on this fantastic project,” says Nolan. “It’s been nothing short of amazing to watch them pull it together. They’ve involved the school districts, the children, the faculty and staff of the Career and Technology center and built partnerships with many local businesses.”
“In just a short period of time, they’ve already increased awareness of CASA’s mission exponentially. It’s a win-win for everybody – especially our future - the children of Hancock County.”
For more information on the Raising the Roof event, click here.
To read about CASA’s annual Mardi Gras Gala, click here for the January “Talk of the Town.”
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