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Rich Finneran, Dr. Roderick Nunn and Ramona Nunn, Michelle Smith

Concordance Academy of Leadership raised $1 million during its fifth annual gala, “Big Top Bizarre,” held at The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis on Oct. 19.

Concordance, a non-profit supporting individuals as they re-enter society and the workforce after prison, offers pre- and post-release services over the course of 18 months by utilizing a holistic approach. Since 2016, Concordance has served nearly 500 participants and has proven to reduce reincarceration rates among those it has served by more than one-third.

Nearly 500 attendees attended this year’s gala and participated in silent auctions and live auction packages, as well as enjoyed jugglers and side-show performers. Guests were also treated to live music from country singer-songwriter Filmore, and KC Flo played hits until the evening’s end.

“I continue to be humbled and grateful for the overwhelming support from corporate sponsors and caring individuals who made this fundraising achievement possible,” says Danny Ludeman, president and CEO. “It represents an expression of faith on the part of this community and their belief in the potential of the population of people we serve at the Academy.”

Vic Faust of FOX 2 News emceed, and Johnny Wallace kept the paddles moving during the live auction.

The event was co-chaired by Melissa and Ken Cella; Mary and Bill Clarkson; Jane Callahan and Jim Bullard; Kristen and Rick Holton Jr.; Julie and Rusty Keeley; Sharon Buchanan-McClure and Rich McClure; Rachel and Jack Oliver; and Rachel and Jermal Seward.