Benefit Banquet Raises Profit for YEP

Community Leaders Were Inspired by speaker Jon Acuff

Marion, IN -Nearly 100 elected officials, business owners, college students, and other community leaders came together Friday evening, April 13th at Masque Extraordinaire. The purpose of the event was three fold: to celebrate the 2011 Growth Council successes, provide a social and networking opportunity for community leaders, and to support entrepreneurship by raising money for the Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP). The event was a great success, with excellent community support and numerous sponsors.

Tim Eckerle, Executive Director of the Growth Council, shared with the audience that a large amount of community collaboration has been key to Growth Council success in 2011. Highlights from 2011 include Grant County business expansions of Eastern Indiana Wi-Fi and American Woodmark, the announcement of the single largest investment in Grant County history by E.On Climate & Renewables with the coming Wildcat Wind Farm, and the Young Entrepreneurs Program. The Young Entrepreneurs Program is a pilot program created by the Growth Council that has empowered 15 young entrepreneurs each fall semester to develop Grant County into a better place. Participating high school students compete with a business plan that they draft in groups of three. The students have the opportunity to learn from some of the brightest local business leaders as they compete for prizes and scholarships.

The Growth Council is proud to announce that the Benefit Banquet raised a profit of over $3,300, covering nearly all the operational costs for the expansion of the Young Entrepreneurs Program into more area schools.  The Growth Council is still raising money for scholarships for the YEP award winners.

acuffwith studentsJon Acuff, national bestselling author of Quitter, challenged the audience to three things that brilliant leaders do in times of change: amplify even the small moments, avoid playing the comparison game, and don’t get lost in criticism. Tim Eckerle said, “The audience found his remarks to be timely, focused, inspirational and entertaining all in 45 minutes.  The organization is now challenged as to how to top Jon in 2013.”

A special moment of the evening came from Scott Murphy, President of the Growth Council Board of Directors, with the announcement of the naming of the YEP scholarship in honor of  Bill Rea. Bill was a founding member of the Growth Council, and has vastly impacted the Grant County Community. Bill Rea passed away 2 days following the Bill Rea Scholarship Announcement, and the Growth Council hopes this honor will carry on Bill’s legacy and encourage the young entrepreneurs to impact their community as Bill Rea has exemplified with his life.