Written by Cassandra Sprigg, former Holladay employee (South Bend, IN)
April 27th was a night for celebration. Under the soft lighting of the Gillespie Conference & Special Event Center Ballroom, hundreds of guests watched as President and CEO John Phair rode a green bicycle onstage to accept the award for the Boys & Girls Club of St. Joseph County’s “Greatest Big Kid” of 2018.
As everyone knows, John has always had a servant’s heart. Throughout the years, giving back to the community has been a passion of his. This year, one of the ways he chose to give back to St. Joseph County was by participating in the Boys & Girls Club’s annual Greatest Kids Fundraiser. The event paired six local leaders with youths who were nominated for “Youth of the Year,” to raise money in support of the organization which currently serves over 1,100 children in South Bend and Mishawaka. John and his partner, a young man named KaSaun, quickly became friends as they began fundraising as Team Green. Through social media platforms, social gatherings and word-of-mouth, patrons were encouraged to learn more about the wonderful work of the Boys & Girls Club of St. Joseph County, and pledge their votes ($50 each) for Team Green. After a few hard months of fundraising, participants and their guests gathered together to see the results and crown a winner as well as recognize the “Youth of the Year”.
Dressed in vibrant green suits, John and KaSaun arrived at the Gillespie Center on the night of the award ceremony and live auction, excited to see the final results of their efforts. Each team had decorated their tables in their respective colors to show their spirit, and Team Green’s did not disappoint. Their table was adorned with an impressive mountain of bright green glowsticks, and other eye-catching trinkets. Several of our Holladay Properties Partners joined in on the fun, dressed in different shades of green, as well. One - who shall not be named - even donned a ‘Green Man’ costume, to act as a team mascot.
With the completion of the live auction, it was finally time to award the victors. After earning an impressive 1,610 votes, it was announced that Team Green had raised over $80,500, making them the overall winners! John proudly accepted his crystal crown for 2018’s Greatest Big Kid, as the crowd cheered on. “…Lots of laughter and enjoyment was shared by the over 500 guests,” Partner and Sr. Vice President of Development Manette Tepe described of the event. “Not only was the evening a lot of fun but it was a HUGE success. We are still counting but at this time we have raised over $400k!"
We have always known John is a big kid at heart. Now the community knows he is the Greatest.