Serving the community for nearly two decades, Inviting Arkansas continues to recognize philanthropic + civic leadership in Central Arkansas. As we begin this new decade, we have some buried treasures to share from the archives. These are just a few illustrious covers that reflect the continued mission fulfillment work in our community. Enjoy the memories, read about a few of the Capital City’s beloved foundations and remember to vote for your favorite cover – one of these nonprofit organizations will win a complimentary ad in the magazine. The contest will close on May 31st… #MakingPhilanthropyFUN
Kelly Eichler for Centers for Youth & Families – May 2010 Issue
A busy mom of two boys, Kelly Eichler was awake late on night catching up on emails. The task is not unusual, but that night of correspondence produced a different result. The subject of the email in question was Splatters, a major fundraiser for Centers for Youth & Families. Little did she know that one click of the “send” button encouraging her friends to attend would lock her into a bigger commitment. Kelly, along with Kristin Emerson, is co-chairing a first event for the oldest non-profit of Little Rock.
The Centers Court, which seeks to “cause a ‘racquet’ for centers for Youth and Families,” will take place Mother’s Day weekend. The event is a women’s only double tennis tournament with a twist. Following the games, a “Wimbledon White” party will be help at the Country Club of Little Rock. The tournament will take place at the Little Rock Racquet Club.
The Centers folks took note of Kelly after she sent out the mass email to friends and family. Laughingly, Kelly says, “See what late-night emails will get me?” Later, Kelly received a call from her friend Tiffani Foltz, The Centers’ annual giving/special events officer, to brainstorm ideas on a new fundraiser. An avid tennis plater, Kelly thought a tournament on Mother’s Day Weekend would be the perfect match.
“Tennis is part of my social life and the social lives of all the women involved with this fundraiser,” says Kelly. “We have so much fun out there on the tennis courts, so we pulled them in for this event. I know with their help we could get it done and they’ve been so creative.” Helping Kelly and Kristin to make the vent happen are Marcie Palecek, Becky Norris, Melissa Bong, Mary Catherine Burney, Sydney Blackmon, Acker Bell, Jessie Walker, and Lauri Allison. Another twist to the event is the raffle. The team is selling numbered ping-pong balls that will be dropped from a helicopter onto the tennis court during the Wimbledon White party. The buyers of the two balls closest to the target on the court will each win $500.
As chair of the tennis event, Kelly’s involvement with Centers has come full circle. Throughout her career and life, the organization has repeatedly become party of her rhetoric. Her mother and friends were volunteers, and as a prosecutor and special judge, Kelly would always hear about resources from the Centers and its many programs. Born in Jacksonville, Kelly earner her undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi and a Razorback cheerleader. She earned her law degree from UALR and soon went to work as a deputy prosecutor. She developed a focus on protecting children as attorney ad litem in abuse and neglect cases.