Clayco Foundation Hosts First Annual Juneteenth Fund Celebration, Donates $140,000

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Clayco Foundation’s Juneteenth Fund Advisory Committee hosted a sold-out celebration on Saturday, June 19 at Mahler Ballroom. This year’s event helped raise funds for seven nonprofit organizations dedicated to raising awareness and advancing the causes of Black equality and inclusion in the St. Louis and Chicago metro areas

The Clayco Foundation’s Juneteenth Fund Advisory Committee hosted its first annual Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 19 at St. Louis’ Mahler Ballroom. The sold-out event was catered by Black-owned businesses and featured African American artists and performers. A highlight video of the event is available on the Juneteenth Fund website.

Thanks to the generosity of partners, friends and members of the Clayco family, the Juneteenth Fund has raised over $250,000 since its 2020 inception. At last week’s event, $20,000 grants were distributed to seven community-based nonprofit organizations dedicated to building awareness and advancing the causes of Black equality and inclusion in the St. Louis and Chicago metro areas. They include:

1. My Block, My Hood, My City
2. Pride ROC
3. Black Village Foundation
4. ArchCity Defenders
5. Life Arts
6. Dream Builders 4 Equity
7. College Kids

Celebrated on June 19th of each calendar year, Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas learned they were free from slavery. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, many African Americans were still enslaved in some states. Today, Juneteenth remains a celebration of freedom and hope.

Clayco Executive Chairman and Founder Bob Clark and Executive Vice President Tom Sieckhaus serve as lead mentors for this initiative while Executive Vice President Otto Nichols III serves as lead trustee. Members of the Advisory Committee continue to advise and assist the foundation on all matters related to the Juneteenth Fund. They include Sandra Porter Marks, Christol Crenshaw, Karen Howell, Dan Lester, Tamara Lewis-Jackson, Trish Marcano-Henderson, Jesse Sanders, Nicolas Smith, Richie Hands and Arnez Stevenson.

“These are important times, and we must all commit to educating ourselves and addressing the systemic issues that have affected communities of color for far too long,” said Bob Clark. “This begins with honest conversations and valuable initiatives like the Juneteenth Advisory Committee and Juneteenth Program, which are committed to lasting change at Clayco and beyond. We are honored to have finally hosted an in-person celebration in honor of this important cause.”

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