More than 500 guests came out in support of Project Love’s 25 years of programming for Values Matter, an awards dinner and benefit honoring students, educators and more.

Presented at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, the event kicked off with a VIP Reception followed by cocktails and dinner. The annual event served as a celebration and recognition of companies and individuals who shape community culture and inspire others.

Recognized that evening with a Values-in-Action Rescuer of Humanity Award were students and educators from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who were soon to mark their one-year anniversary of the mass school shooting that took 17 lives and wounded 17 others.

Also honored that evening were Christopher M. Gorman of KeyCorp.; Anne P. Noonan of OMNOVA Solutions Inc.; Ronald B. Richard of Cleveland Foundation; and Coach Dru Joyce II, of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

Timothy Dimoff and Denise Dufala welcomed everyone and guests enjoyed a video showcasing the Be Kind Stick Together program. Stuart Muszynski, president and CEO of the Values-in-Action Foundation, also spoke at the event.

The occasion marked the 25th anniversary of Project Love school programming which works with elementary and high school students to create cultures of kindness, caring and respect in their schools.

This year, the organization proudly marked its reach to 1,400 schools and 445,200 students in 50 states with its Be Kind Stick Together elementary school anti-bullying program. Project Love also works with nearly 400 Cleveland high school students through its VIA Training program that teaches the importance of soft skills, character and values.
Presenting sponsors for the benefit included the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jones Day and Key Bank among other generous donors. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY SUE REID

Chip and Joy Bell

Melody Herzfeld, Kelly Mathesie, Danielle Driscoll, Ty Thompson and Jackie Snytte

Jennifer Kinford and Rita Lake

Sharon Reed and Melissa Marik

Chris Rossi, Shawn and Beth Thompson, Doug Stachler and Joseph Danyluk

Joe and Cheri Slattery with Mary Champa