Monthly Archives: September 2008

Heart Thru Art Aids Kids, Bonds Community

heart-thru-art.jpgKim Henry took the Self-Expression and Leadership Program in Houston this summer, and her project was “Heart Thru Art,” a fundraiser that both promoted art to the local community and benefited children in need. The Fort Bend and Harris County community came together over the weekend of September 27 and 28 to see art in a wide variety of mediums – watercolor, pastel, oil, acrylic, sculpture, collage, fiber art, metalwork, photography and ceramics.

The event took place at the Sugar Land Town center through tickets available to the public and also featured food and beverages, art demonstrations and a silent auction.

Money raised from the sales went to the artists except for 20% that went to Heart Thru Art, which funded Artbridge, a worthy charity that develops art programs for homeless children and which is on pace to assist 3,000 Houston-area children in 2008.

Visit the websites of these groups to find out more about Artbridge and Heart Thru Art.

Scholarships for Low Income Students

The Vindicator, a leading newspaper of Youngstown, OH, recently wrote about the Self-Expression and Leadership progam project of Keith Coleman, who teamed up with his brother Kevin to form a worthy scholarship fund.

YOUNGSTOWN — A runathon has been scheduled from 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Wick Park as an inaugural fundraiser for the Otis Christian Scholarship Fund.

The goal is to raise $10,000 to be used as tuition for a deserving low-income minority student to attend Ursuline High School.

The event has been organized by Kevin and Keith Coleman in recognition of the influence Otis Christian has had on their lives by making it possible for them to acquire educations.

Residents are invited to pledge runners per mile or to make lump sum donations.

Since this appeared, The Vindicator published a quick follow up report:

More than 20 participants took part in a runathon Aug. 21 at Wick Park to launch a fund-raising campaign for the Otis Christian Scholarship Fund.

The Otis family, friends, and members of Ursuline Cross Country Team raised more than $1,000 at the event.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $10,000 for a scholarship that will enable a deserving low-income minority student to attend Ursuline High School.

For more information or to donate to the fund, contact Kevin Coleman, (614) 264-7430, or Keith Coleman, (330) 402-2995.

Local Art Helps Hungry

illinois-food-bank-_2.jpgAs her project in the Self expression and leadership program offered by Landmark Education, Illinois resident Ann Pellegrini helped put together a fundraiser for the Northern Illinois Food Bank, held in Cantigny Park, IL. The event, held in partnership with Oberweis Dairy and titled the 1st Annual Art of Giving, took place on Thursday, September 18th from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. It was an evening of food, wine, and fine art, all complimented by the beautiful backdrop of the Cantigny Park Gardens. Local vineyards were present to pour wines that were paired with delicious hors d’ouevres and appetizers prepared by the Cantigny Park chef. Local artists, including photographers (Pellegrini sold one of her photographs at the fundraiser) displayed pieces for sale with 20% of the proceeds being donated to Northern Illinois Food Bank.

All of this was set at Cantigny Park’s newly opened Le Jardin. Tickets wer $50 per person and sponsorship opportunities are available.

According to Pellegrini, “We raised awareness, had fun, made money and brought in a new sponsor that wants to do more on a broader scale.”

The Northern Illinois foodbank is a very efficient program, with every dollar donated leading to six meal equivalents being provided to people in need. The foodbank partipates in a variety of programs, including youth nutrition programs, holiday meal programs, emergency food programs, and more. To get involved or contribute, go to

Fit the Journey Weight Launch Challenge

The Dayton Daily News, of Dayton, Ohio, recently recognized the Self-Expression and Leadership program project of Julie Olmsted, a pastor for Trinity United Church in nearby Miamisburg. The project, titeled Fit the Journey Weight Launch Challenge, created a dietary program focused on healthy eating and exercise.

Shift the weight and restore your balance

Trinity United Church of Christ, 203 E. Linden Ave., Miamisburg is offering a 12-week dietary program focused on exercise, healthy food choices and nutrition. Trinity pastor Julie Olmsted said the Fit the Journey Weight Launch Challenge grew out of a Landmark Education leadership program that encourages positive and permanent shifts in the quality of life.

“We have so many obesity-related diseases and the temptation to overeat is everywhere,” Olmsted said. “My idea is to shift the weight and the objective is to restore balance in our personal lives and restore balance in the world.”

Olmsted’s passion for making a difference in fitness and well being hasn’t ended with her project. Since initiating this program, Olmsted has continued to write about the subject of eating and exercise for the Dayton Daily News. Here are parts of a story that she contributed on August 30.

Put your quest to lose weight into God’s hands

by Julie Olmsted

Contributing Writer

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A great secret of life is to ask for help when you need it. That’s what happened over a year ago when I spoke to my friend Laura. Laura had been involved in a spiritual weight-loss program and lost 50 pounds that year. I figured I needed to lose close to that, so I reached out.

We agreed to speak daily on the phone to support my weight loss efforts. I was foundering; there was no doubt about it. Days went by and I could not say no to myself. That “no” muscle was flabby, and so was everything else. I learned a lot in our brief conversations; I also lost more than 35 pounds. Following are some lessons I relearned in those talks, in case losing weight is on your list of to-do’s as the seasons turn.

Stop pretending: In any area of life that has us whipped or in a bind, we have to stop pretending that it doesn’t bother us. This is what it means to come empty-handed to God. Blessed are the poor in spirit, says one of the Beatitudes. This means blessed are those who come to God (and to each other) saying, “I need help. I am not well.”

Get support: It is no secret what God can do. What he does for others he’ll do for you. We exclude ourselves from what’s possible with God and with others. But you have to reach out and take the support, like you don’t know everything, like you don’t have it all together.

Your world in a day: If you can discipline yourself to lay down yesterday, its failures, its cravings and its looming shadows of guilt, you can start fresh today. Commit that you will have a day of conscious and healthy eating and then go about fulfilling your own prophecy. Do it for only one day, then another and another.

Never give up: Stop disempowering yourself by saying, “This isn’t a good time. I can’t do it. Maybe someday.” This is your life. Establish credibility with yourself by being true, one meal at a time. You deserve the freedom and self-expression that comes with a lighter body. Lay claim to better health and greater service to God by handling the food issue in a way that suits and honors the real you.

The Rev. Julie G. Olmsted is pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Miamisburg. Contact her at

Lewis Creates Chicago Technology Summit

Chicagoan Ed Lewis took on bringing a cutting edge technology summit to fruition as his project in the Landmark Education self expression and leadership program.

chicago-skyline-sm.jpgThe Tech Insiders Summit was a forum to explore in depth what’s working and not working in the Chicago Tech start-up community. The panel discussions are slated to be moderated by local industry leaders and comprised of active experts in the area of investing and entrepreneurship.

The Tech Insiders Summit was operated by Chicagoland executives in technology and investing who recognize the importance of bringing together community leaders for the purpose of stimulating investment and facilitating networking. The Summit was a free, invitation only event that was held August 14 at the TechNexus of the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) in downtown Chicago. Panel events included success stories from Chicago area technology entrepreneurs, ‘war stories’ from top Chicago start-ups, and discussions of today’s environment for technology investing.

Mehotra Makes Science Fun for Kids

test-toob.jpgLopa Mehotra’s TestToob project is gaining acclaim from the media. This project, which began in the Self Expression and Leadership Program, creates a website for youngsters to share science videos and experiments. Here’s a piece of an article from the Lane Report, Kentucky’s leading business publication.

Lopa Mehrotra is launching Test Toob, which aims to hit multiple trends and hot buttons. Using the Web 2.0 model of customers providing the product, Test Toob plans to have students at all levels upload videos of their science projects. It’s thought to be the first vertical social networking community focused on science and learning. Test Toob aims to be a combination of YouTube and MySpace targeted at a youth market for which spending keeps climbing.

Mehrotra, a former political fundraiser in Silicon Valley who is married to the CEO of SHPS, has been in Louisville for five years. She’d gone back to school and started a family but was now looking to go back to work. While Mehrotra was willing – even “eager” – to take on some risk, she knew that “corporations are risk-averse in times like this.”

She created her own opportunity, drawing inspiration from an incident with her daughter in their backyard last August. By October, software development had begun and a soft launch of Test Toob, A Community For Everyday Scientists, is coming with the new school year. Mehrotra’s goal is 10,000 users exchanging science videos by year’s end and global penetration and one million-plus users in 2010.

“The ultimate goal is to be the world science classroom,” she said. “I would love it to shout out Kentucky.”