KSU and Leadership Cobb Partner to Raise Money for Kidz2leaders

April 3, 2015

Leadership CobbA wine-tasting event hosted by Kennesaw State University and the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce introduced dozens of area business owners to an important children’s charity in need of support, as well as to Kennesaw State’s world-class culinary program.

The event, organized by Leadership Cobb, invited Cobb County businesspeople to Kennesaw State University to meet with representatives from Kidz2Leaders (K2L), a charity working to enrich the lives of children whose parents are in prison. K2L offers camps, mentoring programs, internship opportunities, and excursions meant to give children the life skills to avoid the cycle of incarceration that can often plague these families.

Guests were treated to a selection of wines from the Bourgogne region of France chosen by Ophelia Santos, instructor with Kennesaw State’s Institute for Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality. She specifically paired each glass with an appropriate dish prepared by students under the supervision of Thor Erlingsson, a lecturer in the culinary program and one of only six master chefs in the State of Georgia.

Wine pairings included Louis Chavy Bourgogne Ordinaire served with chicken liver pate in Cumberland sauce, and Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne alongside an assortment of bread and cheese.

Between courses, guests had the opportunity to meet with K2L staff and board members to learn more about K2L’s mission, and to discuss potential avenues for partnership.

“There was a great chemistry between the attendees,” says Allison Krache Giddens, director of Order Management for Win-Tech Inc. in Kennesaw. Giddens is part of the Leadership Cobb team that selected K2L as the focus of the event.

“You could definitely feel the electricity and passion in the room as current volunteers spoke on behalf of Kidz2Leaders, and as other newbies were exposed to the fantastic organization. These individuals are terrific potential future volunteers and donors, and we look forward to encouraging K2L to host similar events in the future to keep the faces involved fresh and varied.”

Leadership Cobb is a program developed by the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber selects 45 individuals around the county to participate in a series of leadership development exercises designed to encourage professional growth and improve awareness of current community, social, and political issues.

Non-profits like K2L reach out to Leadership Cobb frequently for assistance in gaining awareness of their programs. Giddens says her team chose K2L because of the charity’s direct impact on the lives of local children.

The venue, Kennesaw State University’s Presidential Lodge, was chosen by Dr. Lance Askildson, Kennesaw State’s Vice-Provost of Global Affairs and a member of Leadership Cobb. He worked with the University’s Institute for Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality to secure the space and get support from student and faculty volunteers.

“The Kidz2Leaders organization is doing incredibly important and impactful work with at-risk youth in our community and I wanted to help highlight and promote more awareness of their efforts among other community leaders and stakeholders,” Askildson says. “Together with my colleagues from Leadership Cobb, we developed this interactive wine tasting event as a mechanism to introduce Kidz2Leaders to other Cobb and Atlanta area residents while also providing recognition and new networking opportunities to the organization”

Nancy Staub, executive director of K2L, was present at the wine event and expressed her gratitude both to guests and to Leadership Cobb.

“This is your chance to directly affect the lives of the kids of inmates,” she said. “Seventy percent of the children of inmates are likely to be incarcerated themselves later in life. Our programs give these kids something to hold on to so they can break the vicious cycle of incarceration.”

Learn more about Kidz2Leaders

Learn more about Leadership Cobb

Learn more about the Institute for Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality

-Patrick Harbin