Chicago Rocks at JA Jams
“Does anyone really know what time it is?” If you’re a supporter of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland, it’s time to celebrate!
On May 15, more than 1,800 guests gathered at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore to enjoy JA Jams, a benefit concert featuring Grammy Award-winning band, Chicago. The event raised more than $250,000, which will allow JA to empower more than 5,000 young people right here in Baltimore and throughout Central Maryland to succeed in life. Whether it is showing a child a career path, allowing a young person to experience first-hand the consequences of smart academic and financial decisions, or helping a young adult explore a dream of becoming an entrepreneur, all of this translates into promoting what it takes to achieve your dreams.
“Amazing!” “An evening of incredible music.” “Fantastic!” “So much fun!” “One of the best shows I’ve ever seen.” “I never want to go anywhere else to see a concert.” “Awesome!” “It was good music for a great cause.” These are just a sampling of the many positive comments we received following this high-energy show that literally had fans dancing in the aisles.
JA Jams would not have been possible without the generosity of our presenting sponsor, Wells Fargo; our VIP reception sponsor, Stanley Black & Decker; and the many other corporate and media sponsors who contributed funding, in-kind services, gift bag items, and more. Their support was instrumental in making JA Jams a rockin’ success—and a unique and noteworthy experience in the Baltimore-area events scene. We offer a rousing round of applause to each and every one of you!
We also give a shout out to the JA staff and our event committee, chaired by JA board member Troy Brewer, First Vice President and Investment Officer of The Brewer Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC (pictured above with the band and his wife, Carol). Their teamwork and leadership helped bring this fabulous live show to the Central Maryland community and build awareness of the JA mission among our long-time supporters, as well as an audience of new potential volunteers and donors.
Every year, we have more teachers asking for JA programs, and we need all of the support we can get to bring JA experiences to a growing number of students. Check out this video to hear about the impact of JA in the words of our students, educators and volunteers. And if you would like to give of your resources or share your success story with JA students, please call us!
Students Steal the Show
Perhaps the most special guests at JA Jams were the young people who participated in the event. We were honored to have JA students from New Town Elementary and Reservoir High greet concertgoers and distribute programs. In addition, the talented vocalists from the Seton Keough A Cappella Choir (pictured above) provided pre- and post-concert entertainment that received rave reviews.
And two courageous and talented students—Jason Gibert, a freshman at Morgan State University, and Madeline McGee, a fifth grader at Severna Park Elementary (pictured above)—stole the show when they turned on the charm and introduced the band to the audience. All of these students—and the teachers and parents who coordinated their participation—deserve a standing ovation for adding a meaningful and personal touch to the evening.
The Place to Be Seen
More than 200 VIPs had the opportunity to network, share favorite moments from the concert, enjoy delectable desserts and meet Chicago band members at the JA Jams post-concert reception, sponsored by Stanley Black & Decker.
Peter Burstein, partner, Continental Title Group; Wendy Burstein, DDS, periodontist; Michele Yerman; and William Yerman, CEO, Continental Title Group and Junior Achievement board vice chair.
Marcella DeSantis, senior philanthropy officer, MedStar Health; Colonel Edward DeSantis, U.S. Army; and Debbie Phelps, director, The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools.
John Dinkel, publisher, Baltimore Business Journal and Junior Achievement board member); and Keith Howland, Chicago vocalist and lead guitarist.
Monica Mitchell,Vice President, Wells Fargo; Jennifer Bodensiek, president and CEO, Junior Achievement of Central Maryland; and Andy Bertamini, regional president for Maryland, Wells Fargo.
For the complete photo scrapbook from the JA Jams event, click here.
Custom prints of these photos are available as a memento of the event. A portion of proceeds benefits JA. To order, contact Kim Denis at 410-753-3288.