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The Mabelvale Elementary Drum Line, Drum & Groove Ensemble and Dance Team, performing outside the Statehouse Convention Center, should have been a hint.

They -- along with the cheering, red-jacketed young AmeriCorps members lining the escalator -- are the heart-lifting signs that it's time for another City Year Little Rock Red Jacket Ball. This year's event honored Little Rock School Superintendent Mike Poore with the organization's Lifetime of Service Award, and his own red jacket.

Held April 11 in Governor's Hall IV, Statehouse Convention Center, the event marked 15 years of AmeriCorps members serving in Little Rock schools and also served as a salute to the 54 young people donating a year as City Year AmeriCorps members in Little Rock schools. Several of those members spoke about the students they work with in the schools; a student beneficiary gave a testimonial.

A cocktail reception, complete with silent auction and live-artist painting, segued into dinner, which was set off by the Mabelvale Elementary performers. The meal featured boursin and spinach stuffed chicken with red pepper coulis, served on mashed potatoes.

Board member Scott Hamilton welcomed the crowd and outlined the evening, while Sarah Roberson, vice president and executive director of City Year Little Rock, also helped steer the program. On-the-spot fundraising efforts included a special appeal by 2013 honoree Darrin Williams; a live auction by the always-comical Gaylen McGee; a video tribute to City Year and the evening's honoree by former President Bill Clinton; and further remarks by Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr.

Poore was toasted and gently roasted via video as well as onstage. Aaron Lubin introduced the superintendent, who, during his acceptance speech, spoke of the phrase they'd developed at the district: The Power of Us. "I think this award is really a tribute to us ... [for] a guy like me, to win this award, is rather remarkable, because I'm one of those average human beings in intellect, in looks, and every other type of thing that you could quantify," he said. "But I've been elevated by all of you and our community is elevated right now, because we are working together."

Another Poore received honors for the evening: Hall High School English teacher Patricia Poore was presented the Susan T. Purvis Award, named for the late Little Rock artist and teacher.

Proceeds from the event support City Year AmeriCorps members serving as tutors, mentors and role models in schools.

Gallery: City Year Little Rock Red Jacket Ball

High Profile on 04/21/2019

Print Headline: Superintendent toasted, roasted at awards dinner

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