Concordance Academy Raises More Than $1.2 Million at 2016 Gala

ST. LOUIS – Concordance Academy of Leadership, led by president and CEO Danny Ludeman, raised more than $1.2 million at its second annual gala, “A Western Fling,” held at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis on Saturday.

The organization provides a holistic, evidence-driven approach to assisting individuals returning from prison, with the aim of significantly reducing reincarceration rates. Concordance’s first class of 28 participants soon will release from prison to the St. Louis area.

We greatly appreciate the St. Louis community and its support as we build the foundation for what we believe will be a game-changing organization. – Danny Ludeman

In addition to raising money for the organization, gala attendees were treated to a concert from up-and-coming country singer Brett Young, whose debut single has risen to the Top 5 of the Country Billboard charts. Randi Naughton of FOX-2/KTVI served as emcee for the event.

Ludeman noted the event also was a success in spreading the message about the problem of reincarceration and the dire need for re-entry services to support individuals leaving prison.

These individuals face enormous obstacles when they are released. Most have no jobs, no housing, no support system to help them get back on their feet. It’s no wonder that 77 percent return to prison within the next five years. – Danny Ludeman

Marilyn and Sam Fox, Thelma and David Steward, Centene Charitable Foundation, and Susan and Danny Ludeman underwrote the event, so that every dollar raised will support the organization’s efforts.

Many leading St. Louis companies helped sponsor the evening, including Maritz, Laclede Gas Company, Wells Fargo Advisors, Ameren Missouri, ARG Recruiting Group, Ascension Health, Edward Jones, Ernst & Young, HLK, and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Event co-chairs were Diane and David Katzman, Kerrin and David Kowach, and Peggy and Jerry Ritter.



Concordance Academy is a St. Louis-based nonprofit that offers the country’s first set of integrated, holistic and evidence-driven services to individuals returning to society from prison. Led by President and CEO Danny Ludeman, the organization assists participants in three primary areas: behavioral health and wellness; education and employment; and community and life skills. The Academy starts working with individuals six months prior to release and continues assisting for up to a year after their return to the community. The organization is committed to restoring individuals, rebuilding families, transforming communities and advancing the field of re-entry services. For more info, visit


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