July 2, 2013
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On June 20th, Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring program “partied with a purpose” at the organization’s annual fundraiser at The Wild Hare. Established to provide girls (7 -17 yrs. old) with the opportunity of learning the vital life skill of effective communication, the Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Group is changing the lives of girls throughout the Chicagoland area through the power of mentorship. The event this year not only generated funding to finance the efforts of Polished Pebbles, but also encouraged event patrons to devote their time, skills, and talents to the development of youth throughout the city of Chicago.

CBS Chicago’s Derrick Young hosted the event and gave a rousing introduction of Polished Pebbles founder, Kelly Fair. Kelly, who holds degrees in speech pathology from both Howard University and the University of Iowa, started Polished Pebbles in 2009. “Polished Pebbles is my dream come true. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with young women everyday and I have been able to watch them evolve into polished leaders in their schools and communities. As they have grown, I have grown as well. We empower each other as we grow together.”

The evening culminated with a presentation of awards for outstanding Polished Pebbles partnering organizations and supporters. All awards presented were named after Kelly’s personal mentors who have motivated and encouraged throughout her life.

Founder & CEO, Kelly Fair addresses the audience

The awards and awardees included the Tony Shaw Business of the Year Award which was given to Bloomingdale’s for their long-running support of the program through Mentoring USA.  The Rev. Dr. Helen Ward Carry School/Community Partner of the Year Award was given to the University of Chicago Charter Schools for allowing the continued use of their facilities for execution of Polished Pebbles’ weekend and after-school programs. 

Derrick Young of CBS Chicago, Keena Gilliam, Human Resources for Bloomingdale’s, Kelly Fair of Polished Pebbles, Climmie Fowlkes Human Resources for Bloomingdale’s

Shane Evans, Director of University of Chicago Charter Schools and recipient of the Rev. Dr. Helen Ward Carry School/Community Partner of the Year Award, Kelly Fair, founder of Polished Pebbles.

The Rev. Dr. Linda Shepherd Woman of the Year Award, which was the final award of the night, was given to Betty Clawson of Dudley’s Beauty School. Ms. Clawson served as a mentor to Kelly very early in her career, and she is committed to supporting young women in her community. Ms. Clawson, overwhelmed with excitement, was honored to receive the award, “We must all take the responsibility to continue the legacy of teaching and mentoring”.

Betty Clawson of Dudley’s Beauty School accepts the Rev. Dr. Linda Shepherd Woman of the Year Award

Other notable supporters in attendance included the Illinois Institute of Technology, Mentoring USA, 100 Black Men of Chicago, and Links Incorporated.

Visit http://www.polishedpebbles.com for more information about Polished Pebbles, to volunteer or to donate.

Catch more event flicks on Flickr: Polished Pebbles Fundraiser

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