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Evelyn Bethune to Address Inspiring Students

Evelyn Bethune, granddaughter of noted educator Mary McLeod Bethune, will be the keynote speaker for the annual Most Inspiring Students Awards at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 24 at the Long Beach Hilton. Registration begins at 5 p.m. The evening of uplifting stories about exemplary students who have beaten the odds is sponsored by the Long Beach Education Foundation. The awards recognize one student from each school in the Long Beach Unified School District. Mary McLeod Bethune founded the National Council for Negro Women, helped to found the United Nations, and was an adviser to four U.S. presidents. She dedicated her life to bridging communication and understanding gaps among races. Her lifelong mission -- decades after the Civil War but long before the Civil Rights movement of the 60s and 70s -- was the education of America’s children. Masters of ceremony will be Frank Mottek, news anchor for KNX 1070 Radio and KTLA-TV Channel 5; and Mike Murray, past president of the Foundation. The event’s theme is "Aladdin: A Whole New World," featuring the Millikan Concert Choir and Edward Steinhauser as Aladdin, with special appearances by The Genie and Princess Jasmine. Steinhauser, a recent graduate of Wilson Classical High School, is the son of Chris Steinhauser, LBUSD superintendent of schools. During the dinner, the Superintendent's Annual Distinguished Community Service Award will go to Long Beach BLAST (Better Learning After School Today). A second Superintendent’s Award will go to a surprise recipient. The Superintendent’s Awards honor individuals and organizations for their years of dedication, inspiration, leadership, volunteering and other support of local students and schools. Students to be recognized at the awards dinner represent one or more of the following qualities. Each winner: • is an inspiring example, • is unusually persistent, • makes a tremendous effort, • is an exemplary good citizen who is dedicated to serving the school or community, • could be described as a hero for overcoming adversity or circumstances that might have prevented a less determined student from succeeding, or • has made a dramatic improvement or turnaround. Proceeds of the event support the Long Beach Education Foundation charities with grants, school uniforms for students whose families cannot afford them, camperships to Hi-Hill, scholarships and other assistance. Reservations are available by calling the Foundation at 997-8023. The donation is $100 per person or $1,000 for a table sponsorship. Please make checks payable to: Long Beach Education Foundation.