On Thursday, Oct. 24, Ellis welcomed over 275 guests to Ellis is Wonderland, an evening to benefit the children of Ellis programs, and raised $325,000 in critical operating support for the 134-year-old South End organization.
CEO Lauren Cook remarked, “Ellis represents what Boston should be and can be, a place where social barriers are broken down and children and families from all socio-economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds form a community of support and friendship. It is incredible to see so many people who share our values come together in support of the high quality programming that Ellis provides for over 300 children every year.”
Held at The Beehive, Ellis is Wonderland sparked the joy of childhood through a playful and delicious menu, activities enjoyed by Ellis children, and a performance from three Ellis children backed by a live band. Mike Scannell, Ellis Board Member and former President of the State Street Foundation, was presented with the Ida B. Eldredge Vision for Boston Award in recognition for a decades-long career dedicated to engaging, educating and empowering Boston’s working families
Cook stressed the importance of Ellis’s programs. “Kids don’t show up to kindergarten ready to learn, or on track to be proficient readers by the third grade, or high school graduates, without high quality early education and care. In an economy where the vast majority of families require dual incomes to cover expenses, in the 8-10 hours a day when a parent is at work, Ellis plays that critical role of nurturing and educating Boston’s next generation of neighbors, leaders, and professionals,” said Cook.
Danielle Pinson, Ellis parent and Board of Trustees member spoke during the program and reflected on Ellis’s impact on her son. “We chose Ellis because we know the teachers and staff share our values – diversity, empathy, education – and the belief that when you bring together children from different backgrounds, identities, and experiences, they all thrive together. My son benefitted tremendously from this type of setting. He is a student in the Brookline METCO program, and for many METCO students it can be difficult and sometimes isolating adjusting to a new education setting where they may be the only student of color in their classroom. But because of Ellis, Quentin has thrived. From a young age, Ellis has taught him how to use difference to unite people.”
The success of Ellis is Wonderland was made possible by the generosity of many sponsors, including State Street Corporation, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and Natixis Investment Managers.
In conjunction with the event, Ellis is proud to announce the hire of Nikki Stewart, Chief Advancement Officer, who will partner with CEO Lauren Cook in charting a vision for Ellis’s next chapter of impact for its community and contributions to the field of early childhood.