GODFREY — Steve and Jane Saale, of Brighton, were presented with Riverbend Head Start’s Circle of Care Award at a dinner in their honor May 6 and helped raise more than $112,000 to support the nonprofit organization’s mission. It was the most money raised in the event’s 22-year history.
More than 260 guests packed the Commons at Lewis and Clark Community College for Riverbend Head Start’s annual Circle of Care Award Dinner and Auction to recognize the Saales’ positive influence on the community through their professions, volunteerism and philanthropy.
The Saales were nominated for the award by members of Riverbend Head Start’s Communications and Development Committee and selected by the agency’s Board of Directors. The event was planned by a group of the Saales’ family and friends.
Jane is the president of Cope Plastics Inc. in Alton, the company her maternal grandparents founded in 1946. Cope’s corporate offices are in Alton and they have 17 sales offices and stocking locations throughout the Midwest. They are a premier distributor and the Midwest’s largest fabricator of plastic sheet, rod and tube for more than 7,000 companies nationwide. Cope Plastics is ranked in the top 150 privately held companies and fifth amongst the largest women-owned business in the St. Louis metro area, according to the St. Louis Business Journal. The impact the Saales and the Cope Plastics team have had on the community is too much to be truly measured. In 2010, they hosted the American Cancer Society Mardi Gras Ball and helped raise more than $80,000. Jane is the immediate past chairperson of the Lewis and Clark Community Foundation Board and vice president of the Southern Illinois Employers Association. The Cope Plastics’ Team supports Pride Inc., the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Friends of Kids with Cancer, United Way of Greater St. Louis and the Riverbend Growth Association. The Saales are also very active in their church, Godfrey First United Methodist Church, and at their children’s schools. The agency’s Board of Directors Chairman Dave Braasch presented the Saales with two Saale school bus tricycles as their award. The committee selected the tricycles after seeing a wish list generated by Head Start staff and they wanted to make one of the wishes come true in the Saales’ honor. The tricycles will be presented to the children and staff to enjoy at two of the agency’s Head Start centers to enrich their outdoor classrooms. The “See Through Life’s challenges” theme of the event served as a tribute to the products produced by Cope Plastics and Riverbend’s Head Start’s mission to help at-risk families overcome life’s challenges. The impact of the mission was illustrated in a video which spotlighted a Head Start couple and their two children. Riverbend Head Start serves families in Madison County at its six child development centers in Alton, Bethalto, Collinsville, Edwardsville and two in Granite City. The organization’s staff provides early childhood education, parenting education, health, nutrition, disability and social services to children between the ages of birth through 5 and expectant parents.
Families qualify for the Early Head Start and Head Start programs because they live below the federal poverty line of $24,250 for a family of four, have a child with a diagnosed disability or are involved with the Department of Children and Family Services. They voluntarily enroll in the program because they want to improve their lives and want to ensure their children are prepared for kindergarten.
For information about the Circle of Care and Riverbend Head Start & Family Service’s mission, contact the agency’s public relations director, Kristen Gosling, at (618) 463-8913 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.