The Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area recently held The Fifth Annual Blue Moon Affair fundraiser for the agency’s Youth Empowerment Center in Trotwood. More than 250 people attended the event at the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center.
The guest speaker was best-selling author, national television personality, entrepreneur, Army combat veteran and youth advocate Wes Moore. In his New York Times bestseller, “The Other Wes Moore,” Moore tells the fascinating story of another Wes Moore—a man who shared his name and much of his personal history. About the same age and raised in the same neighborhood by a single mother, the “other Wes Moore” arrived at a much different fate. He now serves a life sentence without parole on murder charges.
Moore told the audience his book was about the decisions made at a young age that can make a great difference in a person’s life.
“It’s about the people we have in our lives who help us to make those decisions,” he said. “Kids who are literally one decision away from going in one direction or going in another direction.”
Moore said it’s up to communities to step up for those who need help and guidance in order to stay on the right path.
“Our society is full of others,” Moore said. “People who might not look like us, people who might not speak like us, people who might live in the other part of town. What makes our communities stronger is when we have people who will step up and say ‘not anymore.’
“We’re products of our expectations,” he continued. “The expectations of ourselves are born from the expectations that other people have of us–positive or negative. I stand here as a product of something that people saw in me before I even saw it in myself.”
The Blue Moon Affair also included a cocktail hour, silent auction, dinner, musical entertainment and a presentation from the Youth Empowerment Center. As a “blue tie” event, guests were encouraged to wear a blue dress, suit, tie, and/or accessories.