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KLEO Center Hosts Annual Fundraiser To Support Community Programs

11/7/2018, noon | Updated on 11/7/2018, noon
A Washington Park-based non-profit organization, The KLEO Center, recently hosted their 12th Annual Fundraising Gala at Carnivale in the West ...
The KLEO Center, a Washington Park-based non-profit organization, recently hosted their Annual Fundraising Gala to raise money to support their community initiatives. Photo Credit: The KLEO Center

KLEO Center Hosts Annual Fundraiser To Support Community Programs

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN

A Washington Park-based non-profit organization, The KLEO Center, recently hoste their 12th Annual Fundraising Gala at Carnivale in the West Loop. The annual Gala is a major fundraising initiative for the KLEO Center and is essential for raising critical funds to support community programs.

The KLEO Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening families through education, job training, economic development, and community engagement activities. The KLEO Center’s facility, located on 119 E Garfield Blvd., also provides a safe space for Chicagoans from all age groups and communities to gather.

“The KLEO Center was created after our founder, Torrey Barrett’s, sister Kleo Barrett was killed as a result of domestic violence. He used that tragedy to create the KLEO Center as a way to help other women who were experiencing domestic violence. Since our founding, we have become a pillar in the Washington Park community and we have grown beyond programs specific to domestic violence to now doing safety and violence prevention through the arts,” said Lesle Honore, executive director of the KLEO Center.

The founder of the Center believes that a lack of basic resources in communities, like Washington Park, can be part of the reason why domestic violence might occur. Because of this idea, the KLEO Center works hard to provide education, job training, and economic development resources to its clients as a way to hopefully reduce their risk of experiencing domestic violence.

Currently, the Center hosts programming during the day, after school, and during the summer. The organization participates in Chicago Public School’s Safe Haven program, the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative, Get In Chicago’s Quantum Mentoring Program, One Summer Chicago’s Workforce Program, and host the After School Matters Performing Arts and Music Program.

“The KLEO Center is all grant restricted so that means that all of our programs come with grants and the grants are specific to their program so anything that we want to do extra for our clients or any area that we want to grow in we have to fundraise for,” said Honore. Funds from the Gala will go towards programs and experiences that are not grant-funded but equally as important to the community.

“The funds from the Gala will go towards our music program, they will go to fixing our roof, they will go to hopefully buying a van so we can help serve more people in the community. We are very big on helping our kids in the Washington Park footprint feel like citizens of Chicago so we try to do a lot of experiences outside of the footprint by taking them downtown, to the museum campus, and to Grant Park in the summertime because a lot of our kids have never gone downtown or even been further north than 31st Street,” said Honore.

To learn more about the KLEO Center and how to get involved or donate visit thekleocenter.org.