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News & Happenings

iBELIEVE Foundation Holds 5th Annual Columbus Benefit Gala

Event Raises Funds and Awareness for
Opportunities Benefitting Appalachian Youth

Columbus, OHThe iBELIEVE Foundation held its 5th Annual Columbus Benefit Gala on Friday, May 20 at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus. The organization’s major fundraising event of the year raised more than $125,000 to support its mission to provide thousands of Appalachian students with educational and learning opportunities to grow their 21st Century Skills while building a network of student-leaders across Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Attendees enjoyed a cocktail hour with live entertainment followed by a plated meal. NBC 4’s Colleen Marshall emceed the evening’s program which included a number of panels highlighting the impact iBELIEVE’s programming has had on students throughout Appalachian Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

The iBELIEVE Foundation presented two awards recognizing service and commitment to iBELIEVE’s mission. Dr. James Mahoney, Executive Director of Battelle for Kids, was recognized with the iLEAD Lifetime Award for his lifetime of service on behalf of kids in Appalachian Ohio. WesBanco received the iGIVE Corporate Award for its commitment to iBELIEVE, making its programming possible.

iBELIEVE Executive Director Patrick Klein, Associate Director Christopher Dutton, and RESA-5 Executive Director Joseph Oliverio discussed the iBELIEVE Foundation’s model and how students benefit from its programming not only during a summer leadership camp, but also through follow-up programming during the school year.

Current high school students and iBELIEVE program participants Marlee and Madison Maynard of Southern High School, Monique Kamara of  Beechcroft High School, and Ryan and Katie Exline of Jackson High School discussed their experience with the program and the skills they have developed as a result.

Past iBELIEVE participants Mitchell Howard, a graduate of Meigs High School and Ohio University student; Jordan Moseley, a graduate of Alexander High School and The Ohio State University student; Cole Massie, a graduate of Jackson High School and Syracuse University student; Maximo Federo, a graduate of Beechcroft High School and student at Columbus State University; and Kaysi Isner, a graduate of Fort Frye High School and the University of Cincinnati, participated in a panel discussing how the lessons they learned through iBELIEVE have supported them during college and how they continue to give back through the program.

Attendees participated in silent and live auctions as well. Items available in the live and silent auctions included Columbus sports memorabilia, trips, and other exciting opportunities in the Columbus region.

“Our annual benefit gala is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate what iBELIEVE has accomplished while also looking forward to what comes next,” shared Patrick Klein, executive director of the iBELIEVE Foundation. “This summer we will offer more than 800 summer camp scholarships to students from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, something that would not be possible without the incredible generosity of our supporters like those who attended this year’s Gala.”

The iBELIEVE Foundation currently works with students in over 50 high schools throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to increase the college-going rate of Appalachian students, which is historically much lower than in other parts of the U.S. iBELIEVE hopes to retain these students in local communities following their graduation from college. Students that participate in iBELIEVE Foundation summer camps and other programming develop a stronger sense of their personal strengths and weaknesses to be better students, leaders, and citizens. Through the program, participants develop the network necessary to help them achieve their goals, creating more opportunities for current and future Appalachian students.

Gifts to the iBELIEVE Foundation are tax deductible and can be made in many ways, including cash, bequests, and life insurance. To support leadership opportunities for Appalachian students, please designate your gift to the iBELIEVE Foundation and mail to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, PO Box 456, Nelsonville, OH 45764. Donations can also be made online at by designating the iBELIEVE Foundation Fund . For more information on how you can make a difference in the lives of Appalachian Ohioans, please call the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio at 740.753.1111 or visit

About the iBELIEVE Foundation Fund

The iBELIEVE Foundation Fund was established to provide leadership, communication, and problem solving skills to Appalachian youth and young adults along with other in-need individuals so that they could become successful future leaders in their schools and most importantly their communities. More information can be found at

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit