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Celebrating Ellis and the Strength of Families

On November 2nd, over 350 guests gathered at the Cyclorama for our Fall Benefit, Celebrating Ellis and the Strength of Families. We are grateful to Robert Lewis Jr. for sparking the room’s generosity as emcee of our fund-a-mission. Thanks to our event sponsors and our generous friends the night of, we raised over $630,000 to support Ellis’s work and mission!


This year, we had the privilege of honoring two champions of early education. Nancy Huntington Stager, President and CEO of the Eastern Bank Foundation, was honored as a Shero for her commitment to economic inclusion and social justice and for helping Ellis expand to Jamaica Plain in 2021. This year’s Ellis Hero Award recipient was Representative Aaron Michlewitz, who, as State Representative of Ellis’s South End district, has been a consistent and extraordinary champion of Ellis and early education and care.


The Cyclorama provided a special setting for the event. Self-portraits by staff and students on the circular walls, along with LEGO sculptures and picture book centerpieces, created a fun and youthful atmosphere. Participants could create their own self-portraits after enjoying our buffet stations or lounging in a colorful bean bag chair.


Our event co-chairs, Sean Curran of Waterville Consulting (also an Ellis board member and former Ellis student) and Jerome Smith from Amazon, set the lively tone for the program and were followed by Ellis CEO Lauren Cook, who highlighted how Ellis works to deliver excellence, access, and equity to Boston’s children.


Tiffany Sheets, Ellis Vice President of Programs, offered her valuable perspective as an Ellis employee of over 20 years and as an Ellis parent. She spoke of the remarkable care she has seen first-hand as a teacher, a director, and a parent and how Ellis changes lives for the better.


We are grateful to everyone who made the event possible, particularly our Honorary and Host Committees, Event Committee, Boards of Directors and Trustees, corporate partners, donors, and the Ellis development team.


Celebrating Ellis is now an annual event, and we’re already looking forward to next fall, where we’ll convene again to uplift Ellis and the special people in our orbit who elevate our work and the early childhood sector. We hope to see you there!



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