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Palm Beach  Society News  Pages 1 

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Black Tie International:
Center for Creative Education Receives $100,000 Gift


Kenn Karakul

Kenn Karakul


Longtime supporters Kenn Karakul and James Held donate $100,000 to nonprofit’s operations budget



West Palm Beach, Fla. – The Center for Creative Education (CCE) has much to celebrate in 2012 and thanks to a gift from some its dearest friends, is poised for more great things in 2013. The child-focused nonprofit received a $100,000 gift from Palm Beach residents Kenn Karakul and James Held, longtime supporters of CCE. According to Bob Hamon, CCE CEO, the significant end-of-year gift comes with a challenge to the community.

“Kenn and Jim have not only taken a financial interest in CCE’s success for more than 10 years,” said Hamon, “they have opened their homes to host our annual luncheons and rallied support from their friends and colleagues for our capital campaign. Their past support of CCE has inspired other substantial gifts and they hope this generous end-of-year donation to CCE’s general operations budget will do the same.”

Karakul led the organization as board chairman from 2001 to 2010. Karakul and Held’s initial capital campaign gift to the organization secured CCE’s current building project. Karakul will also serve as honorary chairman for the organization’s beloved annual luncheon on March 6, 2013.

"As arts organizations across the country, and especially right here at home, continue to wrestle with cuts in grants and a decline in underwriting, it's more important than ever that we take a sustainable, responsible and business-focused approach to our future," said Karakul. “CCE is well positioned for exciting growth and our school and after-school programming is more critical than ever. Jim and I hope our gift will inspire others to invest in our children’s future at CCE.”

The not-for-profit Center for Creative Education is entering its 17th year providing Palm Beach County youth with arts integration in school and after-school settings. It works to enliven education by using the arts to teach students English, Math and Science and other core subjects as well as reinforce life skills like cooperation and compromise. CCE served 12,500 children during 2012 in nearly 90 schools and after-school sites.

Research has shown that multi-dimensional learning improves each child’s academic performance, enhances their creative problem solving, increases overall enthusiasm about school, and shapes more productive, responsible community members.

“This year-end gift from Kenn and Jim sets the tone for 2013 as an exciting time for CCE,” said Pam Miller, chairman of the CCE board of directors. “We are so grateful for their generosity -- giving of their personal time, talents and critical funding to this organization. These dollars are earmarked to hire new staff, among other things, things, which will allow us to continue to grow our work to serve our community.”

For more information about the Center for Creative Education (CCE) or to make a year-end donation, please call (561) 805-9927 or visit .


The Center for Creative Education uses the arts to enrich under-served students’ educational experiences. Various art forms, from visual to performing arts, are infused into classroom curriculum and after-school settings to enhance the teaching of traditional academic subjects. Palm Beach County programming is focused on Title 1 schools and after-school settings approved by PrimeTime. Lauded by grantors, parents, students, teachers and administrators, CCE staff includes more than 50 teaching artists who go through extensive training.


joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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