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Say Amen Gala

"Say Amen" Gala

Mathews-Dickey 'Say Amen' Gala Generated 'Blues for Thought'

Bill Donius, a New York Times Best-Selling author, was the keynote speaker.

Vocalist Lil' Ralph with guitarist Daryl Darden.

The Jack Buck “That's A Winner” Award was presented to owner and general manager of the St. Louis Surge, Khalia Collier by St. Louis Blues owner Tom Stillman.


Education Fund-raiser Featured Speech by Bill Donius, Performance by Blues Artist Daryl Darden and Awards to Bob Ciapciak, Khalia Collier, Rev. Starsky Wilson, Jaylen Bledsoe, and others.

Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club generated "Blues for Thought" at its 26th Annual Clifton Davis "Say Amen" Gala on Aug. 8, 2015 at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark.  The black-tie optional gala featured the presentation of awards to youth, adult volunteers and community leaders; a performance by the Daryl Darden Band out of Los Angeles; and keynote address by former Pulaski Bank Chairman & CEO Bill Donius, author of the New York Times Best-Seller "Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius", his ideation sessions have yielded impressive results for small and global-sized organizations, for teams of as few as four and as many as 200. Missouri Governor Jeremiah "Jay" Nixon provided the welcome that evening and announced $250,000 in state tax credits to raise $500,000 for the organization’s Bob Russell Park in Bellefontaine Neighbors.

The distinguished awards slate was headlined by four distinguished St. Louisans.

  • Bob Ciapciak, principal of Edward Jones, is recognized with the Benjamin F. Edwards III Award.  A respected and highly admired member of the St. Louis community, Ciapciak's leadership has helped worthy causes such as the American Red Cross, the United Way, the St. Louis Sports Commission, Fair St. Louis and the Arts and Education Council, just to name a few.  
  • The Jack Buck "That's A Winner" Award went to Mathews-Dickey alumnae Khalia Collier, owner and general manager of St. Louis Surge, a professional women's basketball team in St. Louis.  At 23, she has taken on the challenge of building the first sustainable women’s professional franchise.  
  • Rev. Starsky Wilson, president & CEO of Deaconess Foundation and head of the Ferguson Commission, receives the Bill Maritz Memorial.  Through the foundation and his community work, Wilson is an advocate for change and progress in the St. Louis community, with a special passion for increasing the well-being of vulnerable children in the urban core areas of the region. 
  • Jaylen Bledsoe is the receipient of the Outstanding Youth Achiever award for his dedication with our youth. Bledsoe led a two week entrepreneur camp this summer, helping 15 aspiring entrepreneurs receive real life experiences and advice to help them realize their dreams. Bledsoe is a teen entrepreneur, being merely 12 when he started his Internet consultation company, but now, at 17, he has clients like Steve Harvey and Jordin Sparks.
  • Mathews-Dickey also bestowed the Outstanding Computer Literacy Volunteer Award to Express Scripts' Andre Edison, Outstanding Tutor Volunteer to Mathews-Dickey Alumnae and Barnes Jewish Hospital Nurse Jocelyn Davis, Scholar Athlete to Quentin Phillips, a 18-year-old graduate of Cardinal Ritter; and Academic Scholar to Sydney Green, an 18-year-old graduate of Carnahan High.

Award presenters include St. Louis Blues Owner Tom Stillman, Ameren Illinois President Richard Mark, St. Louis Fire Department Battalion Chief Michael Richardson, Missouri Housing Development Commission community liaison Senator Rita Heard Days, Maritz Senior Manager of Operations Rosa Rue-Brown, Centene Corporation Executive VP of Corporate Secretary and General Counsel Keith Williamson and St. Louis Sports Commission President Frank Viverito.  The event steering committee chairman was Ernst & Young Executive Director Mike Weiss, and the festivities were emceed by KMOX Radio’s Jon Grayson. It all started with cocktails and the "Jack Buck Celebrity" silent auction, then the awards program, plated dinner, entertainment and keynote. Attendees were also treated to a live auction with VIP items.

The event was made possible by sponsors: Centene/Home State Health Plan., St. Louis Fire Department, Edward Jones and World Wide Technology/Steward Family Foundation and corporate donors: Ameren, The Catherine Manley Gaylord Foundation, Engelhardt Family Foundation and Maritz.

As a result of the event, $140,000 was raised, with net proceeds supporting Mathews-Dickey in offering youth positive leadership and career training experiences; build strong bodies and minds in sports & recreation and encourage them to explore their artistic and cultural aspirations. To sign up to volunteer for any of the above programs call Bill Fronczak at 314.679.5228 or Ty Howard at 314.679.5232.

Mathews-Dickey is a non-profit 501(c)(3) United Way member agency that provides education enrichment, cultural arts & health, sports & recreation and summer day camp programs for thousands of metro area children.

Bill Maritz Award went to Rev. Starsky Wilson, president and CEO of the Deaconess Foundation.

Frank Viverito, St. Louis Sports Commission President along with Benjamin F. Edwards III Award recipient, Bob Ciapciak, principal of Edward Jones.

The Outstanding Youth Achiever Award went to Jaylen Bledsoe, CEO of Bledsoe Technologies, LLC.






Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) United Way member agency that annually provides educational, athletic and cultural enrichment programs to more than 40,000 young people from throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. Since 1960 the Club has taught youth respect, restraint and responsibility so that they may obtain credibility, integrity and accountability. For more information, call Bill Fronczak at (314) 382-5952, ext. 228.