Suzette Cowell is CEO of the Toledo Urban Federal Credit
Union. She was one of the original founders of the Credit
Union and has recently celebrated the opening of a new
building on the corner of Detroit and Dorr. The TUFCU also
sponsors the African American Parade and Festival.
The Knights of Columbus, Council #386, specifically Eric
Lyons and Martin Porter will receive the Volunteer Award.
They have given many hours of service to the work of the
Padua Center, especially preparing the dinner for the Urban
Chicken Fest, held at the Padua Center each summer.
The keynote speaker for the evening will be Rev. F. Anthony
Gallagher, retired priest of the Diocese of Toledo.
He retired from assigned diocesan ministry
in June 2009 and, subsequently, has tried to be an active
supporter of women religious, Africa-American, Muslim,
Latino and inter-faith efforts locally. Father Gallagher is
active in marches, presentations, rallies and civic actions
to support the rights of minorities. He has been a
consistent supporter of The Padua Center and last summer his
donation provided a Bounce House for the children at the
Urban Chicken Fest.
A gathering of nearly 125 people are expected to attend the
celebration which features a silent auction of items
including visual arts, produce grown and processed at The
Padua Center, baskets of various interests and tickets to
various restaurants and venues throughout the city.
The main feature of the evening the live auction of artwork
created by the Padua Center children. The artwork showcases
the artistic talents of the children and the results of an
Art Camp, one of eight free summer camps at the Padua
Center, which involves children from grades K-8.
The band, “Straight Up” will entertain while the guests
enjoy a dinner.
Center volunteer Katera Harris will be the Mistress of
Ceremonies sharing her responsibilities with Serenity Henry,
Frankie Burnside and Grace Bell, young ladies who have been
involved in the Padua Center for a number of years,
volunteering and attending camps.
The fundraiser supports the work of the Padua Center,
specifically the Padua Possibilities Program (an alternative
to suspension for children from grades K-6), the Restoring
Possibilities Program (a program for grade school children
who are expelled), the Padua Potters Garden Club, the
Kwanzaa Park Neighbors, and the Ujima Urban Agriculture
For more information, please call Sister Virginia Welsh at