Rick and Christina Gemma with Sally and Brian Rubenstein

“Moonbeams over Sunbeam” co-chairs Claudia Anton and Colleen Miklus

“Moonbeams over Sunbeam,” a benefit party presented by The Sunbeam Board of Vocational Guidance Services, drew about 150 guests to the Music Box Supper Club in the Flats for an evening of dining and dancing.

An elegant sit-down dinner was followed by a program, hosted by Melissa Mack. Musical entertainment was provided by The Sunrise Jones band. The evening’s featured speaker was Jorge Mendez. Born in Guatemala with cerebral palsy, Mendez moved to Cleveland as a child and became a U.S. citizen before he graduated from high school. He was having a difficult time finding a job and reached out to Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and was referred to Vocational Guidance Services (VGS). Mendez is now in his second year working with College Now Greater

Cleveland and has a bright future ahead of him.

Pamela and Jorge Mendez and Nilsa Zayas

Adam Ross with Fran and Frank Porter

The 128-year-old Vocational Guidance Services’ cause is as compelling today as it was 128 years ago, according to the event’s co-chairs Claudia Anton and Colleen Miklus. “More and more individuals with disabilities are looking to work. We are that link between them and employment. We’re all about that brighter future,” Adam Ross, vice president of development at Vocational Guidance Services noted. He added that VGS serves about 3,600 clients in 26 counties.

Chris and Christy Salata with Mandee and Chris Jones

Proceeds from, “Moonbeams over Sunbeam” support people with barriers to employment, provide vocational rehabilitation, job skills training and paid work opportunities to individuals with physical disabilities, mental disabilities, a history of incarceration and a lifetime of poverty. STORY BY CYNTHIA SCHUSTER EAKIN/PHOTOGRAPHS BY ERIC EAKIN