Photo: Honoring & Onward

A Universe of New Realities

Posted on February 06, 2020 by Hannah Saeger Karnei, Inaugural TPF Fellow

On January 23, 2020, The Patterson Foundation invited a wide swath of current and former TPF family from the past ten years to an Honoring & Onward celebration. The main feature of the evening was a 48-minute documentary chronicling The Patterson Foundation’s journey into a universe of new realities.

It was difficult work for the incomparable video producer Bill Wagy to condense ten years of work into such a comprehensive and moving piece, but it was mission-critical. The purpose behind the gathering was not to say, “Yay...The Patterson Foundation,” but rather a chance to uplift the thousands of people working in and with the community every day.

At TPF, we say our work is to strengthen individuals, organizations, and communities. Through one evening and one documentary, everyone present could feel the power of building connective tissue. And it was easy to see what it meant to our friends and colleagues to be part of something amazing over the last ten years. This event was an opportunity to demonstrate what it means to say thank you, you have been and continue to be important.

Honoring & Onward is the official title of The Patterson Foundation’s celebration of 10 years of working in community. The documentary, the evening, and everything else we strive to celebrate this year is about pulling energy from the past to galvanize the future.

On a personal note, it was a great privilege to help manage the production of the documentary and the celebration. As the inaugural fellow, I was unsure of my place in this community, and I’m sure the community was unsure about me. This was an unusually fantastic opportunity for me to give back to a community that has spent the last eight months investing in my growth. Hank Rosso, founding father of The Center on Philanthropy, which grew to the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, said, “Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.” I would offer simply that giving back is the gentle art of finding joy.


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