VEP will host its signature spring fundraising event, An Evening of Inspiration, virtually on Thursday evening, June 24, 2021.
6:30 pm – Meet and greet
7:00 pm – Program begins, emceed by Leon Spencer, Jr.
– WCASD Senior Strings performance, conducted by Katrina Kelly
– Student Conversation
– Lifetime Achievement Award, Shannon Almquist
– Featured speaker, Helena Ku Rhee
– Interactive Q&A with Ms. Rhee
– Betsy & Bob Hawkes Remembrance
8:00 pm – Event concludes
Leon Spencer, Jr., Board Chairman of the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union and former Mayor of Kennett Square will emcee the evening to feature a live interactive conversation with author Helena Ku Rhee, a corporate attorney and author from Los Angeles. Ms. Rhee, author of the children’s book, The Paper Kingdom, will share how she has been inspired by her immigrant parents as well as her travels around the world.
The Paper Kingdom (Penguin Random House 2020) is based on Ms. Rhee’s childhood, when her parents worked as night janitors and had to take her to work due to lack of childcare. In a deserted office building, they turned drudgery into magic for their young child (complete with dragons and a magnificent kingdom filled with paper). The story weaves subtle commentary about the haves and have-nots and speaks directly to many of the same struggles experienced by VEP students.
Ms. Rhee, recently featured as a guest on NPR, will share her journey as a first generation American woman as well as her passion for writing children’s books, screenplays and articles for publications such as the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Salon. As a VP at Sony Pictures by day, she dreams up story ideas in her spare time.
Join the event early for an informal Zoom meet and greet with other guests and listen to the accomplished WCASD Senior Strings, conducted by Katrina Kelly, performing the symphonic work Perseus, by Soon-Hee Newbold, a female composer who was born in South Korea and grew up in Maryland. The virtual event will also feature remembrances of friends Betsy and Bob Hawkes and a celebration of Shannon Almquist, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for her 35-year commitment to VEP.
Individual reservations for the live virtual event may be made for a donation of $75 per person. Please register by June 23, 2021 to secure your Zoom seating access. Capacity for this live premier event is 300 persons. Everyone is welcome.
Sponsorships, as an individual, group, or business, are still available. Your contribution will ensure that our programming will continue, uninterrupted, this year and beyond! Thank you.
Thank you to the following leadership sponsors for their generosity:
CCRES, CTDI, Bonnie & Jim Friedman Family, Fulton Bank, Malvern Bank, Liz & Chuck Maser, Reformation Lutheran Church of Media, Stored Energy Concepts, Lutz & Travers, PC, Shirley & Everett Warren, The VEP Board of Directors and many Friends of VEP.
100% of all contributions (sponsorships, tickets, donations) towards the 35th Anniversary Celebration event will support the Volunteer English Program and are fully tax-deductible.
35 Days for 35 Years Challenge
May 15 – June 20, 2021
It’s not too late to register for “35 Days for 35 Years Challenge” fundraiser! Starting May 15, and for the following 35 days, complete a challenge of your choice (it can be the same activity or different ones). Whether writing a letter to one friend, walking a mile, cooking a new meal or reading 10 pages – do something every day to better yourself or the world around you in honor of VEP’s 35 years of service.
By donating $35 to Volunteer English Program to participate in this fun challenge, you’ll join hundreds of others working together to make a lasting, life-long improvement in the lives of individuals and their families for generations to come.
Early Spring Event Highlights
March Scrabble Madness Tournament
Ducis Rodgers, 6abc Action News Sports Director, Announces Scrabble Tournament Winners!
Thank you to everyone who participated in this first ever March Scrabble Madness Tournament! The tournament was inspired by a suggestion from a VEP tutor, Larry Jilk, whose daughter, Linda Jilk, has hosted similar annual in-person events in Roanoke, Virginia. VEP thought a Scrabble tournament, with the connection between words and games, would be a fitting way for our community to spend time together as we stay physically — but not socially — distanced, just a little bit longer.
Ducis Rodgers, 6abc Action News Sports Director, was our guest emcee at the close of this year’s tournament. Click here to watch Ducis’ remote broadcast announcing this year’s prize winners!
We had a number of boards submitted and over 50 participants! Five awards were handed out – ranging from highest score to lowest score, best Spring word, most original word and youngest player. We had many impressive words played – including a three-way tie for most tiles used in one play; three participants used all seven tiles in one play! Some of our favorite spring words included zinnia, swing, aloha and nest. Some of our other favorite words were ay, xi, biped and yak. Our lowest scoring play was the word “to” for 3 points.
And the 2021 Prize Winners are…
Lowest Scoring Game: Randall H.
Youngest Player: Rockney W.
Most Original Word: Livi H. (“azo”)
Best Spring Word: Janet Z. (“aloha”)
Highest Scoring Game: Martin M.
All participation fees, in addition to the support of our Double Letter sponsor, Lutz and Travers accounting firm, and prize donations from local businesses, enable us to support our active tutors and students with books, access to online subscriptions and other learning materials for free. Thank you to all who participated or donated!
2021 Double Letter Tournament Sponsor:
Lutz & Travers Accounting Firm
2021 Prize Donations:
Sunshine Letter Co.
The Kennett Bookhouse
Finally, an extra special thanks to Ducis Rodgers for serving as our emcee for this inaugural tournament! Be sure to check out Ducis’ daily, live-from-home Scrabble messages on 6abc Action News at 6:00 and 11:00 pm every weekday to see how easy mixing and crossing words can be!