Grace Place for Children and Families celebrated its fifth annual Dean’s Circle Luncheon at the Beach House at the Ritz Carlton in Naples.
The event included a “showcase” of nine displays created by and staffed by Grace Place families – from adults, to toddlers, to school age students – explaining each one of the family literacy programs and the impact the programs have made on their lives.
The highlight of the luncheon came from Eliana Tardio – a Grace Place alumna of the Bright Beginnings family literacy program. Ms. Tardio shared her story of transformation from an isolated young immigrant to a confident business woman who has written three books, is the founder and owner of one of the biggest special needs blogs worldwide with more than 400 thousand subscribers, and who has spoken at the White House twice.
“I am fully independent. I own my house and my car. I pay for health insurance, invest in my education, and I love this country, my country and the country of my children. People invested in me in the times I needed it the most, and I am fully aware of that. I pay it forward by sharing my story and helping others understand the power of places like Grace Place,” Ms. Tardio shared.
Keynote reports delivered by Grace Place Board Chair Mario Valle and Dr. Tim Ferguson, chief executive officer for Grace Place, explained that all family literacy programs were on target to meet or exceed their annual goals.