Concordance, a CARF accredited, re-entry non-profit headquartered in St. Louis, announced today that it raised $1 million through its generous event sponsors and nearly 300 attendees at their 2022 First Chance Gala held at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis on Saturday, October 15, 2022.
The gala shined a light on Concordance’s mission and the tremendous work their participants and team members do every day to lower the rate of reincarceration in our community. The impact of this work can be felt as evident by a 56% reduction in the rate of incarceration among Concordance participants who have released from prison in the last three years. With over 1,200 participants enrolled in St. Louis since 2016, Concordance plans to expand nationally to 11 new U.S. cities over the next five years while scaling their services from 250 to 1,000 participants served annually in the St. Louis region.
“I continue to be humbled by the overwhelming support from our community,” said Danny Ludeman, Concordance Chairman & CEO. “From our event sponsors to our attendees, their belief in our mission and our participants is what drives us every day to end the devastating cycle of reincarceration. As our only annual fundraising event, our gala provides critical funds needed to support our St. Louis Center along with our national expansion efforts. I could not be more proud of the outcome!”
As part of their gala, Concordance awarded their First Chance Awards, presented by World Wide Technology and the Steward Family Foundation. Award recipients are honored for their support of Concordance and the work they are doing to champion racial equity throughout their community. The 2022 First Chance Award honorees are Eriko Clevenger Pope & Anthony Pope, Centene Corporation, and Nestlé Purina PetCare. Learn more about each honoree at ConcordanceGala.org.
“We are put on this earth to serve others in need and the spirit of giving was with us Saturday evening,” said David L. Steward, First Chance Campaign Chair and Founder and Chairman of World Wide Technology. “Everyone remembered to do good and share with others. The services Concordance provides are desperately needed across our country, specifically in Black and Hispanic communities that are disproportionately impacted by reincarceration,” he added.
Many leading organizations helped sponsor the evening including, World Wide Technology and the Steward Family Foundation, Edward Jones, and NASCAR.
“Through its re-entry program, Concordance has had an amazing impact on the lives of its participants and their communities, and NASCAR is proud to support its mission and continued good work through events like the First Chance Gala,” said Steve Phelps, President of NASCAR.
Seasoned emcee and auctioneer Graham Crow helped to secure gifts by acquiring top bids for the live auction and energized and inspired the crowd during Fund a Need, presented by Edward Jones.
“Edward Jones has been a long-time supporter of Concordance and its important work to help individuals find a better path,” said Ken Cella, principal, branch development at Edward Jones. “This event demonstrates the caring nature of our community, as we come together to support an organization that is making a positive difference in so many lives.”
After the program ended, gala attendees were treated to live music from one of St. Louis’ top bands, The Charles Glenn Group.