“When you support OAR, you’re going to like the way you feel,” said Men’s Wearhouse CEO George Zimmer at OAR’s Second Chance Breakfast May 3rd . Over 230 guests from around the Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church community joined OAR Board members, staff, and volunteers for OAR’s fourth annual Second Chance Breakfast. Over $65,000 was donated and pledged at the Breakfast.
Via video, Zimmer thanked OAR for recognizing his company’s contribution of over 900 men’s suits each year for the past three years so that clients can have the clothes they need to find work. “It’s not just about the suits,” Zimmer said. “For men coming out of incarceration to be able to put on a good-looking suit, with a new dress shirt and tie, means they can feel like new men – starting over. It’s like taking off the old and putting on the new. And then, of course, OAR is there to provide training and encouragement as these men find housing and employment, and move on to become productive citizens of the community.”
Harold Clarke, Director of the Virginia Department of Corrections, was honored as a “Reentry Champion.” In just one year, he has made significant organizational changes to the Department because of his personal commitment to helping men and women prepare for and then make the transition from prison back to our community. “The work OAR does is critical,” Mr. Brown stated.
In addition to these special guests, Congressman Jim Moran, a long time supporter of OAR, announced the formation of a new Community Advisory Council, composed of public servants and business leaders in the community to oversee the development of a scholarship fund to provide workforce skills and training to OAR clients to ensure they have the skills they need to be successful in our community. So far, the following individuals have agreed to serve on this Council: Rep. Jim Moran (Honorary Chair); State Senator Barbara Favola; State Delegate Patrick Hope; Alexandria Mayor William Euille; Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes; Dori Ramsey, Chair of the Alexandria/Arlington Workforce Investment Board; Michael Petkovich, Managing Director of Jackson and Lewis Law Firm; and Rev. Elbert Ransom, Executive Director of REACH, Inc. in Alexandria. Council members are looking to increase the Council by adding at least 20 business leaders and managers in the next few months.
Special Thanks to Sponsors for the Breakfast: We would like to thank our sponsors again for their support Virginia Commerce Bank, MicroTech, Men’s Wearhouse, Sheraton National Hotel, and the individual and community agencies that donated to make this event such a success.