The SAFE Alternative Foundation for Education began as an idea to change the lives of Baltimore middle school students. SAFE was an inspirational vision fostered by Van Brooks that was shaped through his unwavering dedication toward giving back to the youth of his community in West Baltimore. Since its establishment in 2015, the SAFE Center has created for its students a “home away from home” that has provided tutoring, personal enrichment, lessons, mentoring, and a safe space for their students.
The SAFE Center hosted their 3rd annual Bull Roast Fundraiser at Loyola Blakefield on Sunday, September 30th. In the beautiful mahogany Knot Dining Hall, people gathered to support SAFE. The fundraiser consisted of a buffet and entertainment such as silent auction activities, raffles, games, and door prizes. There was a table that displayed the SAFE children’s projects, one of which consisted of them painting then breaking pottery to understand that you can always piece together your life even when things are not perfect.
More than 300 people attended the event which included students from SAFE and Van Brook’s parents. Trania and Tranay Williams, twins who graduated from SAFE with scholarships to the Institute of Notre Dame, were in attendance. They gave an emotional testimony about how SAFE helped them overcome diversity and afforded them opportunities in their education that they never knew they could obtain.
While their mother cried in the background, every person who attended the Bull Roast Fundraiser realized that SAFE does more than help their students but allows their families to construct healthier visions of their futures together.
Corey Bowden Jr., a graduate of SAFE, gave a dynamic as well as an inspirational speech about how SAFE academically enriched his life and provided him a community of people that cared about his success. Bowden attributes SAFE to providing him and other students who have attended the program with the chance to enhance their futures. This is accomplished with programming that decreases students engaging in unhealthy behaviors while increasing test scores, GPA, and attendance. SAFE is the organization whose mission is to provide their students with the opportunity to accomplish their goals by affording them the necessary tools they need to enrich their lives.
The Third Annual Bull Roast Fundraiser was essential in helping to continue that mission
Last year, SAFE’s Bull Roast fundraiser raised around $15,000. The goal of this year’s fundraiser was to raise a total of $25,000. SAFE surpassed that goal and raised much more. Attendees took part in a silent auction that consisted of 21 items to bid on, a prize wheel, a money wheel, and door prizes.
The amount raised helped to accomplish the goal of purchasing a new van to provide another source of transportation for the SAFE Center. The total funds raised will go towards supporting the majority of SAFE’s programming such as their enrichment and mentoring programs like Yards for Success, summer camp, and STEAM, as well as extracurricular opportunities offered to its students.
The event was presented and made possible by Techtronic Industries. Our title as well as table sponsors included Glen Arm Construction, M. Luis Construction Company Inc., Willis Towers Watson, Dara Schnee, Kaiser Permanente, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kelly, Michael Best LLC, Protzman Family, Baltimore Ravens, Loyola Fathers Club, The Kimmel Company, The Bradley Company, The Warner Company, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia.
We want to thank all our sponsors and everyone who attended the event. You are the reason we are able to continue to provide our students with programs that allow them to socially as well as academically enhance their futures.