The Highlands Circle met last night for the first social of the summer. While it was raining outside, many folks came out to enjoy light snacks, cold beverages, and great company at Mountain Madre. This wonderful event was made possible largely due to our wonderful partnership with Lenoir-Rhyne University Asheville Center for Graduate Studies, and it was a pleasure to work with their members again.
“Highlands Circle members are making a true impact in our community. They not only give their dollars but they offer up their time and talents as well,” stated Kris Dionne, Resource Development Manager at United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. “We strive to pull together philanthropic-minded young professionals and harness their collective power for bigger impact, while allowing them to contribute in the ways that best suit their interests.”
With the summer months already upon us, last night’s speech by Kris Dionne shone a spotlight on our Homework Diner initiative, in preparation for school starting back in the fall, only a few short months away. These Homework Diners give students and their families an opportunity to come out, feel connected with their community, and most importantly, be supported by that community. While these events are open to any family with a K–12 student in the surrounding school districts, they are currently only hosted at three area middle schools: Asheville, Erwin, and Enka. This has not been a restraining factor, however, as over 30 different schools have now been represented in these Homework Diners, involving 334 households, and over 300 volunteers. The turnout and results have been nothing short of amazing, and all those involved—from students, to teachers, parents and volunteers—have noted how much they get out of these events, of which there have now been 42 total.
Highlands Circle is 134 members strong. Together, these young professionals have raised $113,000 for our Community Investment Fund and given over 100 hours of service.