12th Annual Gala Includes Magic Johnson, Fran Drescher, Marie Osmond, Dolph Lundgren, Gary Sinise, Pauley Perrette, Leeza Gibbons & Kathy Buckley

Sacramento, CA- The results are in! After three months of cut-a-thons, fashion shows, princess parties, and thousands of other “FUNraising” events, the 14,000 Future Professionals and staff members from 110 Paul Mitchell cosmetology schools raised $1.7 million in their 2015 FUNraising campaign – and Paul Mitchell The School Sacramento at MTI College raised $10,000.00.

School Director Jamie Gums heard the results firsthand at the 12th annual FUNraising Gala at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA. They joined representatives from the 11 national charities supported in this year’s campaign, including John Paul DeJoria (Food 4 Africa), Magic Johnson (Magic Johnson Foundation), Fran Drescher (Cancer Schmancer), Marie Osmond (Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals), Gary Sinise (Gary Sinise Foundation), Dolph Lundgren (CAST, the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking), Kathy Buckley (No Limits), and Seth Maxwell and Eden Sassoon (The Thirst Project).

“Being a part of PMTS FUNraising each year helps the Future Professionals connect to the community and the issues that affect the world, it is an amazing feeling to be part of such a generous organization!” – Jamie Gums, Director of Paul Mitchell the School Sacramento at MTI College

Paul Mitchell the School Sacramento at MTI College Funraising Events

Commenting on why the Paul Mitchell Schools commit to the annual campaign, Dean and Cofounder Winn Claybaugh said, “Over the past 12 years that we’ve been raising money for a variety of charities, I’ve learned that we must always keep our hearts and intentions in the right place. Whether our businesses are highly profitable or below our projections, we must continue to be a part of Generation G—the G stands for generosity. I firmly believe in the law of attraction, meaning that what we put out there comes back to us, so we will always put good thoughts, words, and actions out to the universe.”

In addition to revealing this year’s grand total and the top 10 FUNraising schools, the event also acknowledged the winners of the “First 100” contest. For raising at least $3,000 individually, these students and staff members attended the Gala and a “meet and greet” photo op plus a day of hands-on education with Paul Mitchell Editorial Director Lucie Doughty and international educator Fumi Eguchi.

2015 Gala Highlights

In recognition of her longstanding commitment to the FUNraising campaign, the 2015 Andrew Gomez Compassionate Service Award went to Celebrity Apprentice winner Leeza Gibbons. During the first eight years of the FUNraising campaign, Leeza partnered with the schools and received over $1 million for the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation (now known as Leeza’s Care Connection). “Seeing my name on an award next to the name Andrew Gomez gave me chill bumps because I have such respect and reverence for his legacy and the genesis of this event,” Leeza said. “I am proud, humbled, and more committed than ever as I put this award in a place of the highest honor in my life.”

Paul Mitchell Cofounder and Chairman John Paul DeJoria acknowledged the schools’ longtime support for Food 4 Africa, an organization close to his heart. He also introduced Earvin “Magic” Johnson to talk about the work done by his Magic Johnson Foundation. “Thank you for being there for all of us, caring about this world, wanting to make a change in this world,” Magic said. “Thank you, thank you, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.” To date, the schools have donated $780,000 to Food 4 Africa and $530,000 to the Magic Johnson Foundation.

Referring to his new movie, The Skin Trade, actor Dolph Lundgren said, “I have two daughters, 13 and 18, and I had to get into the space of how would I feel if those were my daughters. . . . I started thinking, How can I help out? . . . I want to thank you guys for helping CAST. You make a huge difference!” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $100,000 to CAST.

In their after-school programs for deaf and hearing-impaired kids, No Limits helps children develop language through tools such as their theme-inspired cowboy and jungle classrooms. “Now we have the most important room ever,” said comedian and motivational speaker Kathy Buckley. “The Paul Mitchell room! Our kids are going to learn a whole new language about nails and hair and shampoo.” To everyone’s delight, Kathy welcomed three adorable guest speakers. “These kids just started this year and they had no language,” Kathy said. “Ashley, do you have something you want to say?” Ashley replied, “Do you want to have a haircut?” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $666,575 to No Limits.

Thirst Project founder Seth Maxwell and Eden Sassoon, daughter of Vidal Sassoon, spoke about the global water crisis and how the FUNraising campaign can help. “This is the most incredibly generous, loving, warm community and family of people in the world,” Maxwell said. “You have a chance to make a radical difference in someone’s life and you’ve done that.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $125,000 to the Thirst Project.

Fran Drescher described a new program made possible by Paul Mitchell Schools’ support. “With your help, you’ve given us wings to pursue our Detox Your Home program, which is so important, and especially for young people…. It’s fun, it’s informative, and it helps kids start thinking about what foods they’re eating.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $680,000 to Cancer Schmancer.

Paul Mitchell the School Sacramento at MTI College

Speaking on behalf of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, cofounder Marie Osmond said, “Every minute, 62 children enter a children’s hospital …. These miracles happen because of your passion and dedication to help and save these beautiful babies’ lives. We are honored that you support us and I am honored to be in this room full of magnificent hearts.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $1.1 million to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Habitat for Humanity partner homeowner Yvette Nelson described her journey and shared her story. A recovering addict with 19 years of sobriety, and a mother of three who lost one son to homicide, she now works for a Skid Row organization that helps people with mental illness and AIDS. “I’m really grateful that I’m going to live the American Dream,” she said. “Life is okay. It doesn’t matter where you are; it’s how you live it. Habitat for Humanity has been awesome to me. …. It’s not a handout, it’s a hand up.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $370,000 to Habitat for Humanity.

Representing the foundation bearing his name, Gary Sinise appeared with U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, a wounded hero who lost both of his arms and legs while on active duty. “Freedom is a precious, precious thing and there are sacrifices being made every day for that freedom we all enjoy,” Sinise said. “We could never do enough for the men and women who defend and serve our country; we can always do more, and that’s what you’re doing here at the Paul Mitchell Schools.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $510,000 to Gary Sinise Foundation.

Actress Betty White has attended several Paul Mitchell Schools’ FUNraising Galas on behalf of Morris Animal Foundation but was unable to attend this year. She sent a video message, saying: “I’m sorry I can’t be with you tonight, but I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart … for supporting Morris Animal Foundation and all of the worthy causes that benefit from your generosity.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $620,000 to Morris Animal Foundation.

Top Beneficiaries to Date

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, $1,100,000

Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, $1,002,987

Food 4 Africa, $780,000

Cancer Schmancer, $680,000

No Limits, 666,575

Morris Animal Foundation, $620,000

Magic Johnson Foundation, $530,000

Gary Sinise Foundation, $510,000

Larry King Cardiac Foundation, $300,000

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, $150,000

 

RELATED LINKS

www.PaulMitchellSchoolsFUNraising.org
Paul Mitchell the School Sacramento at MTI College

2015 FUNraising Gala Facebook photo album:

http://on.fb.me/1FaT7ju

Newscard images (photographer: Allen Berezovsky):

The Trend LA video clips:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2sltmXmYDjf2VpnkrEkJ7w

ABOUT PAUL MITCHELL SCHOOLS

At Paul Mitchell Schools, we believe that education is an adventure and the learning experience needs to be fun and well rounded. Our courses focus on important technical skills and business knowledge with an emphasis on social and community responsibility. Our learning leaders are trained to draw out the artist in our students and prepare them to enter their chosen careers as community-conscious salon and spa professionals. Through our annual “FUNraising” campaign, we’ve raised and donated over $15.2 million in support of many charitable causes. We’ve built homes with Habitat for Humanity, fed thousands of African orphans, and supported the victims of AIDS, breast cancer, homelessness, abuse, and hundreds of other causes.

Established 35 years ago, the Paul Mitchell network is nearly 100,000 salons strong and in 81 countries worldwide; every professional hairdresser knows the Paul Mitchell name. Now, with the arrival of Paul Mitchell Schools, we’ve taken the world of cosmetology education by storm!

Visit https://www.mticollege.edu/cosmetology-school-sacramento/ or 916.339.1888 to learn more.

 

ABOUT THE 2015 SUPPORTED CHARITIES

Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation was founded to honor a successful Paul Mitchell School graduate whose struggle against mental illness ended tragically in suicide. The foundation helps cosmetology students, graduates, their families, and cosmetology-related enterprises. Funds have provided educational opportunities, hurricane relief, and support in the fights against breast cancer, domestic violence, and other destroyers of self-esteem.

Cancer Schmancer Movement, founded by Fran Drescher, is an education and advocacy organization dedicated to saving lives through prevention and early detection of cancer. By empowering ourselves and the people we love to become medical consumers, listen to our bodies, ask the right questions of our doctors, and seek second opinions, we can prevent cancer and, if we still end up with it, detect cancer in its earliest stages.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across the United States and Canada, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4.7 billion, most of it $1 at a time, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.

CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking) aims to assist persons trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and slavery-like practices and to work toward ending all instances of such human rights violations.

Food 4 Africa is committed to supplying at least one vitamin- and mineral-enriched meal each day to the children of Southern Africa, where the HIV/AIDS epidemic has left more than 6 million orphaned children. In South Africa alone more than a million preschool children do not receive sufficient food.

Gary Sinise Foundation serves and honors our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs that entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities. One such program is RISE (Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment), whose flagship initiative is a custom Smart Home building project for severely wounded veterans. Each home is customized to ease daily challenges and help restore independence with features like retractable cook tops, cabinets and shelving, elevators, and more, all accessible via an iPad.

More than 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing. Habitat for Humanity is an international nonprofit organization whose vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Since 1976, Habitat has helped more than 5 million people through home reconstruction, rehabilitation, and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services.

Morris Animal Foundation is a nonprofit organization that invests in science that advances veterinary medicine for companion animals, horses, and wildlife. It is a global leader in animal health science, and its funding helps more species in more places than that of any other organization in the world.

Magic Johnson Foundation supports educational empowerment through HIV/AIDS awareness, college access, and digital literacy.

No Limits offers a one-of-a-kind national theatre group and an after-school educational program that enhance confidence and communication skills for low-income deaf children while providing underserved deaf children with the leadership and academic skills to be college ready.

The Thirst Project is the world’s leading youth water activism organization. In just six years, The Thirst Project has mobilized more than 300,000 students and young people who have raised over $8 million, 100% of which has been used to build freshwater wells in 12 countries, giving more than 260,000 people safe, clean water.


11th Annual Gala Features Magic Johnson, Fran Drescher, Danny Trejo, Marie Osmond, Sara Rue, John Paul DeJoria, Ricky & Andrea Schroder, Jo Anne Worley & Kathy Buckley

(Sacramento, CA – May 2014) – After three months and literally thousands of hair shows, casual days, cut-a-thons, and “FUNraisers,” more than 13,000 cosmetology students from 110 Paul Mitchell Schools raised over $2.1 million for 11 selected charities, bringing their 11-year total to more than $13.3 million. This year’s total was announced at the annual FUNraising Gala, held at the Beverly Hilton and hosted by actor, producer, cancer activist Fran Drescher and Paul Mitchell Schools’ Dean and Cofounder Winn Claybaugh.

School directors and staff members joined the festivities in Beverly Hills to represent their school.

“It is not the kindness of our hearts that provides the support that our charity partners require; it is dollars,”Winnsaid. “I am so proud of our Paul Mitchell Future Professionals for walking the walk, doing the heavy lifting, and doing more than just hoping for the best for those in need.”

Speaking on behalf of the 11 supported charities were Magic Johnson (Magic Johnson Foundation), John Paul DeJoria (Food 4 Africa), Danny Trejo (ELSA), Ricky and Andrea Schroder (Wells of Hope), Marie Osmond (Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals), Sara Rue (CAST), Kathy Buckley (No Limits), and Fran Drescher (Cancer Schmancer).

Gala Highlights

Paul Mitchell the School Sacramento at MTI College
Marie Osmond

Singer, songwriter Marie Osmond announced that Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which she co-founded in 1983, has officially raised over $5 billion to date. Since 2010, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $1 million to the organization. “Because of you,” Marie told the audience, “it’s a dollar at a time, a heart at a time … I’ve never known such generous people. Thank you on behalf of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.”

Basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson described the work that the Magic Johnson Foundation will be able to perform because of the generous donation from Paul Mitchell Schools. Then he said, “The question is, am I going to buy the Clippers? If I do, you’re going to be the first to know!” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $430,000 to the Magic Johnson Foundation.

Paul Mitchell Cofounder and Chairman John Paul DeJoria has recommended several charitable organizations for the FUNraising campaign, including long-time recipient Food 4 Africa. This year he introduced two new charities: Wells of Hope and ELSA.Actor/producer Ricky Schroder and his wife, producer Andrea Schroder, joined John Paul on stage to speak about Wells of Hope, which provides water and other essentials to the people of Guatemala. Actor Danny Trejo, speakingon behalf of ELSA, said, “In standing up and refusing to sit idly by, you have affected the lives of so many families. For me, there’s only two kinds of people in the world: those that really want to make a difference and those that are taking up space. And I honestly believe that in this room there’s a whole lot of people at the forefront of wanting to make a difference.”

Paul Mitchell the School Sacramento at MTI College
Sara Rue

Less Than Perfect star Sara Rue told the audience about Pasi, a young Indonesian woman who thought she was coming to the United States as a nanny and housekeeper but instead was beaten, threatened, and practically starved before she escaped and found refuge at the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST). Referring to the $50,000 donation provided by the FUNraising campaign as well as three scholarships that will allow CAST victims to attend a Paul Mitchell School, Sara said: “Some people don’t want to see human trafficking victims, but at Paul Mitchell Schools, not only are you supporting them through your FUNraising efforts, but you have agreed to invite them into your community as Future Professionals. . . . We are SO grateful for your support.”

Speaking on behalf of the No Limits educational and afterschool theater program for hearing-impaired children, comedian and motivational speaker Kathy Buckley announced the addition of a new Las Vegas location, provided in large part by funds from the Paul Mitchell Schools’ FUNraising efforts. Introducing the Magno family, whose three children attend the Las Vegas program, Kathy said, “They did not have to drive out here but their heart’s desire was to be here tonight.” Edwin Magno said, “You’ve given us hope and just knowing that our kids will be successful in the future.” His wife Nameer added, “With the help of Paul Mitchell Schools, we’re able to raise them and give them the opportunity every child should have.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $556,250 to No Limits.

Actress Betty White has attended Paul Mitchell Schools’ FUNraising Galas for the past three years on behalf of Morris Animal Foundation butwas unable to attend this year. She sent a video message, saying: “I’m sorry I can’t be with you tonight, but I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart … for supporting Morris Animal Foundation and all of the worthy causes that benefit from your generosity.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $570,000 to Morris Animal Foundation.

Taylor Morris, who became a quadruple amputee while serving with the navy in Afghanistan, and his fiancée Danielle Kelley spoke at the Paul Mitchell Schools biannual Leadership Summit in October 2013; they also sent a video message about the schools’ FUNraising support for the Gary Sinise Foundation: “We just want to say thanks to the whole Paul Mitchell family for everything you’ve done for us this past year and before that,” Taylor said. “We really appreciate everything. Wish we could be there!” Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $410,000 to the Gary Sinise Foundation.

Winners of the annual “First 100” contest were recognized for raising at least $3,000 individually; these 100 hard-working students and staff members attended the Gala plus a hands-on training the following day with 5-time NAHA winner Vivienne Mackinder and Cao Cosmetics.

Entertainment was provided by award-winning husband-and-wife jazz duo Tuck and Patti, along with a special appearance by comedian Jo Anne Worley.

post-pm-charity7

Where the Money Goes

Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation, $1,055,000

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, $150,000

No Limits, $150,000

Cancer Schmancer, $150,000

Gary Sinise Foundation, $130,000

Magic Johnson Foundation, $150,000

Morris Animal Foundation, $100,000

Food 4 Africa, $100,000

CAST, $50,000

Wells of Hope, $50,000

Franciscan Haircuts from the Heart, $35,000

ELSA, $25,000

The nonprofit Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation helps disadvantaged or hard-hit cosmetologists and cosmetology-related enterprises. Under its umbrella, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated to many great causes in the past 12 years. This year, the foundation will award $25,000 to each of the following organizations:

  • CUT IT OUT, which builds awareness of domestic abuse and trains salon professionals to recognize warning signs and safely refer clients to local resources.
  • NCA Disaster Relief Fund, which helps members of the beauty industry in the wake of disasters.
  • The Trade Foundation,which restores victims of sex trafficking and abuse by teaching them how to cut and style hair.
  • Justice and Soul Foundation
  • Look Good Feel Better
  • Wigs 4 Kids
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Related Links

Paul Mitchell Schools FUNraising website: www.paulmitchellschoolsfunraising.org

Additional photos: http://bit.ly/1ozwV9w

My Cyndi’s Secrets: Cyndi Targosz Interviews 2014 Gala Celebrity Guests:

Winn Claybaugh: http://youtu.be/vpIkUe93Rs0

John Paul DeJoria: http://youtu.be/XVyiQXUckFU

Magic Johnson: http://youtu.be/SDBvNBBMgFM

Marie Osmond: http://youtu.be/mtaX5UWlrrc

Fran Drescher: http://youtu.be/moyntsiCcNQ

Sara Rue: http://youtu.be/tuSmCkqlQMA

Ricky and Andrea Schroder: http://youtu.be/ja2kgC0Laxk

Tuck and Patti: http://youtu.be/ZVJgPSy4wW0

Jo Anne Worley: http://youtu.be/J8viyXTMjZg

Playlist: www.YouTube.com/CyndiTargosz

About Paul Mitchell Schools

At Paul Mitchell Schools, we believe that education is an adventure and the learning experience needs to be fun. Our instructors—we call them “learning leaders”—are trained to draw out the artist in every student and prepare them to compete in the real world. Through our annual “FUNraising” campaign, we’ve raised and donated millions of dollars in support of many charitable causes. We’ve built homes with Habitat for Humanity, fed thousands of African orphans, and supported the victims of AIDS, breast cancer, homelessness, abuse, and hundreds of other causes.

Established 30 years ago, the Paul Mitchell network is nearly 100,000 salons strong and in 81 countries worldwide; every professional hairdresser knows the Paul Mitchell name. Now, with the arrival of Paul Mitchell Schools, we’ve taken the world of cosmetology education by storm!

Learn more about the cosmetology program at Paul Mitchell the School Sacramento at MTI College.

About the Supported Charities

Cancer Schmancer Movement, founded by Fran Drescher, is an education and advocacy organization dedicated to saving lives through prevention and early detection of cancer. By empowering ourselves and the people we love to become medical consumers, listen to our bodies, ask the right questions of our doctors, and seek second opinions, we can prevent cancer and, if we still end up with it, detect cancer in its earliest stages. www.cancerschmancer.org

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across the United States and Canada, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4.7 billion, most of it $1 at a time, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. www.cmnhospitals.org

CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking) aims to assist persons trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and slavery-like practices and to work toward ending all instances of such human rights violations. www.castla.org

ELSA (Experience Learning Support with Animals) builds confidence, sensory awareness, and social skills in special-needs children, teens, adults, and families through the benefits of the human-animal interaction in the ranch setting. http://elsainc.org

Food 4 Africa is committed to supplying at least one vitamin- and mineral-enriched meal each day to the children of Southern Africa, where the HIV/AIDS epidemic has left more than 6 million orphaned children. In South Africa alone more than a million preschool children do not receive sufficient food. www.food4africa.org

Gary Sinise Foundation helps build custom-designed “smart homes” for our nation’s most severely wounded heroes while supporting active duty service members, veterans, first responders, and the children and families of our fallen. www.garysinisefoundation.org

Magic Johnson Foundation supports educational empowerment through HIV/AIDS awareness, college access, and digital literacy. www.magicjohnson.org

Morris Animal Foundation is a nonprofit organization that invests in science that advances veterinary medicine for companion animals, horses, and wildlife. It is a global leader in animal health science, and its funding helps more species in more places than that of any other organization in the world. www.morrisanimalfoundation.org

No Limits offers a one-of-a-kind national theatre group and an after-school educational program that enhance confidence and communication skills for low-income deaf children while providing underserved deaf children with the leadership and academic skills to be college ready. www.kidswithnolimits.org

Wells of Hope is committed to responding to the cry of the poor and helping them attain the basic necessities of clean water, education, and basic health care. www.wellsofhope.com

Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation was founded to honor a successful Paul Mitchell School graduate whose struggle against mental illness ended tragically in suicide. The foundation helps cosmetology students, graduates, their families, and cosmetology-related enterprises. Funds have provided educational opportunities, hurricane relief, and support in the fights against breast cancer, domestic violence, and other destroyers of self-esteem. https://www.facebook.com/AndrewGomezDreamFoundation

“‘What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills with no money…?’ said Scrooge indignantly” at the beginning of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. And indeed, the holidays can squeeze the wallet more than most would like and more than some would like to admit. It’s not easy filling the stockings and the base of the tree, especially as one grows older. More and more recipients appear in one’s life and, therefore, the need for more and more gift purchases. Unfortunately, we all fall on hard times once in a while – sometimes for quite a while. Circumstances get the best of us and we find Christmas day less than a week out and at the base of the tree we find nothing but a rug.

John Zimmerman, President of MTI College, understands this plight, and understands that it’s not always easy to ask for help when one needs it. Even when help is made available, it can be difficult – and for some even embarrassing – to ask. That is why Zimmerman created the Ask Santa Program at MTI College this year.

As the holiday buying season picked up, MTI College provided request forms to the student body. If a student could show that they were in genuine need of a certain item and simply couldn’t afford it or couldn’t spare enough to purchase it themselves, MTI played Santa and bought that gift for that student. Many of the requests were for simple items: gift cards to places like Target or Toys R Us, gas cards or, in one instance, something as simple as a $22 toy puppy for a child. However, some of the gifts were more specific like a human hair wig for a family member who had lost their hair from medical conditions. Of the 35-or-so requests that were turned in, nearly every single one of them was approved and the gifts given to the students in need.

Erin Atnip, a Future Professional on the “Be Nice or Else” team at Paul Mitchell the School – MTI College, expressed that it was “really generous of John [Zimmerman] to do that for everybody.” The Be Nice or Else Team (BNoE) participated in the Ask Santa Program by making the cards that would go with each gift for the students benefiting from the program. They designed and made 48 cards in all as well as a stack of Christmas cards for Dalton Dingus, a 9-year-old boy in Kentucky suffering from Stage Four Cystic Fibrosis who hopes to hold the Guinness Book of World Records title for receiving the most Christmas cards ever (as long as Guinness re-opens the category, his mother estimates that he will beat the 1992 record by a margin of some 300,000).

Atnip went on to say that, in addition to making the cards for Ask Santa and for Dingus, the BNoE team and many other MTI students went out in search of students in need. Michael Zimmerman, Director of Operations at MTI College, confirmed that the majority of requests turned in were not turned in by the Ask Santa recipients themselves, but by friends and fellow students making requests on their behalf. Atnip explained that there are a lot of students who are single moms, pregnant or otherwise struggling financially and simply needed some money for diapers or other basic needs, but couldn’t divert the money from utilities and rent to buy them. So she, the Be Nice or Else team and many other students from across the MTI campus stepped up and made the requests so that those in need could receive the help they needed. “Good inspires good,” she says, “that’s why the whole Forward Focused thing works.”

As the closing lines of Dickens’ famous ghost story go, “it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. Let that truly be said of us, and all of us!” And let it, indeed, be said that John Zimmerman and MTI College not only see and understand the challenges their students may face, but seek to help in increasingly out-of-the box and genuine ways. So as 2013 begins let us all recommit ourselves to live up to the example set by Ask Santa through the philosophy that Atnip stated so well: “good inspires good.”

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