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Breakfast with Champions 2024

The 2024 Bobby Dodd Institute (BDI) signature fundraising event, Breakfast with Champions, welcomed over 300 guests and supporters of the organization’s mission. Collectively, we raised a record $166,357, marking an important milestone in the history of BWC and surpassing our initial goal.

Meet the 2024 Luminary Award Recipients

During the event, we recognized three incredible individuals and one business partner. Cheri Mitchell, Rondarius Jordan, Shamicka Demery, and Pure Flats were awarded the exclusive 2024 Luminary award.

Cheri is well-known in the disability community. Over her 25-year career, Cheri has helped countless people with disabilities transition from nursing facilities into accessible housing, in addition to tackling many other systemic challenges people with disabilities face.

The highly strategic Rondarius is one of the first BDI Bridge Academy students and the first to earn the globally recognized Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST) Cybersecurity credential through the program. At Breakfast with Champions, he was recognized for his hard work and for exemplifying BDI’s vision of a world where people with differing abilities thrive with the right support and opportunities.

Shamika’s story is nothing short of inspiring. She found her way to the Bobby Dodd Institute after completing a 15-month tour in Iraq. Shamicka has recruited, trained, and mentored dozens of agents and team leads, ensuring that the Contact Center is equipped to meet the needs of its clients. Recognizing her dedication to the BDI mission, Shamicka was recently promoted and has now joined the organization’s Administrative Services team.

At BDI, we believe in the power of partnerships. One partnership that is instrumental for the organization is the one built with Pure Flats. The two organizations are working together to create a product that customers love to use—not only because of its quality but because of the values it represents.

Future Foresight

Bobby Dodd Institute’s work towards accomplishing the goals outlined in the organization’s five-year strategic plan continues. We aim to serve at least 5,000 people by 2027, targeting an $11M financial community impact.

The culmination of the event was the announcement of a very ambitious plan that will shape the organization’s future, the Empowering Lives Campaign. The current building, which has been the home for the organization since 1989, has surpassed its capacity.

To achieve our goal and better serve the disability community, we recognized that a change is needed. BDI’s new support center will be a critical tool, a fixture to BDI’s growth. A place of dignity for those we serve to come, receive services, and express their independence as a gathering place and asset to the Bolton neighborhood.

Along with the support center, we are partnering with a developer to construct housing units to accommodate people living with disabilities, using the principles of universal design. With that, the organization will expand its mission by providing more tools leading to independence and self-sufficiency.

The plan is in its infancy, but a lot of heavy lifting has been done on this project to date. Some early investors have already recognized the potential of this project. However, there’s still a long road ahead.

“I am extremely thankful for our sponsors and all who attended this year’s Breakfast with Champions! While we celebrate the work of the BDI team and the accomplishments of our participants every day, BWC offered the opportunity to recognize those who truly shine in the advocacy, business relationships, and work success of our mission. While we’ve doubled our impact across the region over the past 5 years, we eagerly look forward to the future because the best is yet to come,” said Larry Gluth, BDI’s President and CEO.

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