On Friday, December 1, the board of Neighborhood Leadership Institute hosted a Holiday Celebration and Legacy Dinner honoring our founding executive director, Don Slocum, for his years of commitment and service to the community.

The nearly 160 guests in attendance, ranging from NLC alumni, elected officials, and partner organizations, enjoyed a night of laughter, reflection—and dancing.

Dozens of alumni and friends of the Institute from its founding to today contributed memories and well-wishes in a tribute video that outlined Don’s years of service, from his work at Collinwood Community Services Center, through the Neighborhood Centers Association and onto the founding of the Institute as an independent agency.

Ward 6 councilman and founding board member Blaine Griffin added his own tribute, and presented a proclamation from Cleveland City Council. It was added to similar accolades from Cuyahoga County Council and Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson.

Don’s family attended the celebration as well, including his wife Ramona, daughter Cortnee, and brother Milton, who came in from Houston as a surprise. Don writes, “I was very moved by the outpouring of love and support acknowledging the work we’ve done over the years.”

The board and staff are happy to have him continue his work as Director Emeritus, and in his support of Neighborhood Leadership Cleveland Class 34.

Check out photo gallery from the event, here.