Michael Moehn and Lisa Nielsen were named as the 2016 Circle of Care Award recipients for their work in the community and dedication to the Riverbend Head Start Programs.
GODFREY — Lewis and Clark Community College is hosting the 23rd annual Head Start Circle of Care Dinner and fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19.
Two Circle of Care Award recipients will be honored during the dinner, which will feature silent and live auctions and raffles.
Celebrating 100 years of education, public service and support, Riverbend Head Start and Family Services has continued a tradition of providing early childhood education for children living in poverty or who are challenged with special circumstances.
The dinner is open to the public for a donation of $75 per ticket. Karen Foss, an anchorwoman on KSDK from 1979 until 2006, will serve as master of ceremonies. Auction items include a trip to Florida with a stay at a beachfront condo, original artwork by Joe Emons, Jeff Vaughn and Marty McKay; a signed Ozzie Smith jersey, a rooftop party for 30 at the Simmons Hanly Conroy building in Alton; a private suite for 14 at a Cardinals game and a private gathering with Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
As a nonprofit agency, Riverbend Head Start relies on federal grants and United Way donations to maintain its services.
“This is our only fundraiser of the year,” Public Relations Director Heather Hope said. “In accordance with the United Way, we have to maintain at least a three-month reserve, an insurance policy of sorts to make sure that if problems in funding occurred, we could keep our services going for at least an additional three months. This fundraiser allows us to build or replenish that reserve every year.”
The Circle of Care Award was established in 1994 by Sandy Lauschke and Nancy Ryrie. With supportive community members, the two conceived a way to generate support for Head Start by recognizing area leaders who exhibit a strong sense of service as well as philanthropy.
Lisa Nielsen and Michael Moehn recently were announced as this year’s award recipients. Both raised in Alton, they have remained loyal Riverbend residents. They were nominated and voted by the board as the 2016 recipients because of their tremendous support for Greater Alton and Riverbend Head Start & Family Services.
“Both Lisa (Nielsen) and Michael (Moehn) have been amazing supporters,” Hope said. “They have organized many events in the Alton area for the Catholic Children’s Home, the United Way and also the Junior League Wine and Art event at their own home. We felt they were great examples of what a Circle of Care Award honoree entailed.”
An Alton High School graduate, Nielsen received her law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and bachelor of science degree from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. She practiced law with Greensfelder, Hemker and Gale P.C. in St. Louis for more than 20 years. She continues to serve on the Sheldon Foundation Board, the United Way of Greater St. Louis Board and the Ss. Peter and Paul School Board and Finance Council.
Moehn graduated from Marquette Catholic High School and attended Lewis and Clark Community College before receiving his bachelor of arts from Saint Louis University and a master of business administration from Washington University. Serving on the Lewis and Clark Community College Foundation Board, he was named an Eisenhower Fellow. Serving on boards for the United Way, Christian Hospital, Concordance Academy and the Urban League of Greater St. Louis, Moehn is also a former president of the Marquette Catholic High School Foundation board.
Tickets can be purchased at the Head Start facility, 550 Landmarks Blvd., or at riverbendfamilies.org. Corporate sponsors include Ameren, Intren, ABB, KS Energy, Shade Tree, PAR, Lewis and Clark Community College, the Bank of Edwardsville and AdVantage News.