The Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation hosted its second annual in-Ovation luncheon September 18 at Milwaukee’s historic Renaissance Place.

This year’s event celebrated Ovation’s Geriatric Career Development (GCD) program and honored three special guests for their contributions to the community.

More than 225 people attended the event, including a mix of corporate partners and business leaders, along with Ovation’s own residents, volunteers, donors and board members. The group gathered to learn more about the Foundation and its role in the community, and to raise money for the GCD program.

Now in its second year, the GCD program works to address the long-term care workforce crisis while helping local at-risk students graduate from high school, attend college and secure job opportunities. Ovation Communities was selected as the pilot site for the program in the state of Wisconsin, and the team works to train and mentor students, preparing them for healthcare careers and building important life skills. The students come from area Milwaukee Public Schools, including North Division High School, James Madison Academic Campus and Washington High School.

“These students are going to be the caregivers of tomorrow,” said Tanya Mazor-Posner, Vice President of Development. “This one-of-a-kind program is helping area students graduate and gives them the skills they need to be successful in their careers, and in life.” Event participants rallied to support the cause, and raised nearly $67,000, more than doubling last year’s efforts. A fun live auction format got guests out of their seats raising their paddles.

“The students’ powerful stories really resonated with our supporters,” said Mazor-Posner. “We’re not only working to fill a workforce crisis, but really partnering with these kids to help them develop as kind, compassionate and engaged members of our community.”

Finally, the event honored Dr. Raul Mateo, Ovation’s Medical Director, with the In-Ovation Spirit Award, Pat and Bill Kerns, of Kerns Carpet One, with the Ovation Communities Business Partner of the Year Award, and Joshua Gimbel as outgoing Board Chair of the Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation.