Holiday evening at Edison State “Reimagined”


Staff report



PIQUA — Established as both a celebration and commitment to higher education, Holiday Evening at Edison State has become The Edison Foundation’s most successful student scholarship fundraiser. The Edison Foundation has Reimagined the 23rd annual Holiday Evening at Edison State to feature local artists performing holiday favorites. The delivery, however, will be a bit different this year.

On Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m., Edison State will host a ninety-minute virtual broadcast of the 2020 Holiday Evening at Edison State Reimagined to celebrate, recognize, and support Edison State students, partners, and the caring, compassionate, and resilient communities it serves.

J. Kathryn Lukey, who has served on both the Edison State Board of Trustees and The Edison Foundation Board, has been named the Chairperson for this year’s event.

“When I was asked to serve as Chairperson of the Holiday Evening, I was honored. Of course, like all of us, we went through some struggles trying to determine the format of this year’s event. The staff of the Edison Foundation and its board are so talented and dedicated that I am truly proud of how the Holiday Evening came together,” said Lukey.

The event will feature artists from the Edison State area, who will be performing holiday favorites to enjoy from the comfort of home or anywhere with internet access. This year’s entertainment includes Jimmy Felts, Quintessential Winds, William Loudermilk, and The Innovation Quintet. Throughout the program, The Edison Foundation will also incorporate messages of gratitude, acknowledgments to Edison State alumni who are essential workers, compelling student scholarship stories, and a special tribute to the local entertainment and restaurant industries.

In lieu of the phenomenal food offered annually at Holiday Evening at Edison State—this year’s event will extend beyond student scholarships to also benefit local restaurants. Each ticket sold for the Reimagined event entitles the purchaser to receive a $25 gift certificate redeemable at their choice of one of the following local restaurants, including Basil’s On Market, The Caroline, Coldwater Café, El Tequila Mexican Bar & Grill, Harrison’s, Hickory River, JT’s Brew & Grill, The Merchant House, Montage Café, Sharp’s Tavern, Smith’s Boathouse, The Bridge, 3 Joe’s Pizzeria, Tavolo Modern Italian, or the Turtle Creek Golf Course.

“Attendees will hear from some of our scholarship-winning students, and I know they will be entertained as well. Our hope is that area restaurants will also benefit from the gift certificate sales, and attendees will have an enjoyable meal at a local restaurant of their choice,” added Lukey.

As a former school nurse for the Upper Valley Career Center, Lukey understands the value the education available in Miami County presents to the broader communities served. During her career at Upper Valley, she was charged by Dr. Richard Adams to head the Miami-Shelby Consortium, which was established to provide classroom programs, teen events, and teacher education programs to area schools, a position she held for over 15 years.

Additionally, several of Lukey’s family members are Edison State alumni, including her son Jeffrey, late granddaughter Chelsea, and granddaughter Veronica. “Jeff worked with disabled adults as well as at the alternative school in Sidney. His daughter Chelsea passed away a few months after graduating from Edison State due to a rare form of cancer. She was struggling with this diagnosis from age 14 until her death at 23. She was active in high school as a cheerleader, a Big Sister with the Piqua Chapter, and worked weekends at a nursing home in Wapakoneta, all while going to college and fighting her cancer. Veronica began with an associate degree from Edison State and has since continued her education while working at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, now pursuing a master’s degree.”

Due to COVID-19, the efforts to respond to community needs make The Edison Foundation Scholarship program even more critical. The Edison Foundation will also target proceeds to the new Student Emergency Fund, which aims to help students with unexpected expenditures.

“Of course, the scholarships funded by the Edison Foundation are very important to students in our area. Edison State is a beginning education for many as well as a pathway to a career for others,” said Lukey.

The 2020 Holiday Evening at Edison State is made possible by title sponsor Emerson; presenting sponsor Premier Health–Upper Valley Medical Center; Gold Sponsors AIM Media Midwest, Fifth Third Bank, Dr. Doreen and Len Larson; Silver Sponsors Cox Media, Dan and Jill Francis, Kettering Health Network, Ray and Bettye Laughlin, Park National Bank, Thom and Sandy Shoemaker–Troy Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Wayne HealthCare, and Wilson Health; and Bronze Sponsors Robert and Ann Baird, Baird Funeral Home, Blackbaud Giving Fund, Oskar and Charlotte Bushmann of the Troy Foundation, Ed and Kay Curry, Stan Evans–Hamler-Gingrich/Favorite Insurance, Allan and Tami Baird Ganley, Greenville Federal, Greenville National Bank, Dr. Richard and Beth Hanes, Jim and Jackie Hartzell, Hartzell Propeller, Inc., Rose and Ray Loffer Fund of The Piqua Foundation, Marias Technology, McCulloch Felger Fite and Gutmann Co. LPA, Tom and Mardie Milligan, VPP Industries, Inc., and The Wayne HealthCare Foundation.

To purchase event tickets and help support student scholarships, visit www.edisonohio.edu/he. For more information about Holiday Evening at Edison State, please email Julie Slattery at jslattery@edisonohio.edu or call 937-778-7805. If you would like more information on becoming an event sponsor or to be added to the event mailing list, email The Edison Foundation at foundation@edisonohio.edu.

Staff report