Archdiocese Local Schools Youth & young adult

CEF event provides emergency scholarships

Abby Clement, CEF Futures committee member at large, admires student artwork donated to the Futures Art Event by CEF schools. LEAVEN PHOTO BY JILL RAGAR ESFELD

by Jill Ragar Esfeld

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) Futures annual Art Event at Boulevard Brewery here is so much fun, it usually sells out weeks ahead of time.

And that was the case again this year.

Guests gathered at the brewery to enjoy a wide selection of beers and wines, Jack Stack Barbecue and Cakes by Aggie.

The silent art auction for which the event is named ran throughout the evening.

As the young crowd bid on works donated by professional artists, Futures committee members sold raffle tickets for a chance to win one of many beautiful pieces of art created by CEF student artists.

Past CEF board chair Hamp Henning kicked off the evening.

“This is a group of young professionals,” he said of the gathered, “who have a passion for what the CEF does, which is provide a Catholic education for anybody who seeks it — regardless of financial situations.”

Futures members Drew Clements and his wife Abby were among those attending. As young professionals who realized the value of their own Catholic educations, the couple wanted a way to give back

They found it in the CEF Futures.

“Abby’s a committee member at large, and I’m on the leadership board,” said Clements. “We really saw a strong value and benefit from our own Catholic education growing up.

“We see this as a great and fun way to give back and enable other families to allow their children to go through Catholic schools.”

Indeed, all proceeds from the evening support the CEF Futures Guardian Angel Fund, which provides emergency scholarships for students in CEF schools whose families are facing a short-term crisis, such as a job loss or medical emergency.

The target goal for the event, including ticket sales, sponsorships and art donation revenue was $45,000. By the end of the evening, group members felt confident they’d met that goal.

“I thought the event went really well, as it has each year,” said Clements. “The number of pieces and overall quality of art donated this year was very strong.

“The food was great as well.”

Clements invites all young professionals to consider joining CEF Futures as a fun way to give back and support Catholic education.

“We’re an open-door committee, and we’re open to new applicants,” he said. “And new membership is always at the top of our agenda.”

About the author

Jill Esfeld

Jill Ragar Esfeld received a degree in Writing from Missouri State University and started her profession as a magazine feature writer, but quickly transitioned to technical/instructional writing where she had a successful career spanning more than 20 years. She returned to feature writing when she began freelancing for The Leaven in 2004. Her articles have won several awards from the Catholic Press Association. Jill grew up in Christ the King parish in Kansas City, Missouri; and has been a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kansas, for 35 years.

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