• Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023

LifeCenter Community Breakfast reminds everybody of the importance of community

By Brett Milam (he/him/his)

Communications Associate

LifeCenter Organ Donor Network

LifeCenter Organ Donor Network’s (LifeCenter) 21st annual Community Breakfast, held in late 2022, was a moving, inspiring occasion to reflect upon how much community matters to our well-being. As LifeCenter’s most mission-centric event, it was an opportunity to honor, celebrate, and remember individuals impacted by donation and transplantation.    

More than 500 members of the Greater Cincinnati community gathered at the Cintas Center for the first in-person Community Breakfast since 2019.

Community members listen to the speakers at LifeCenter’s 2022 Community Breakfast.

That idiom about “not a dry eye in the house” manifested when keynote speaker, Aimee Cordrey, mother of Nick Cordrey, an organ, eye and tissue donor, discussed his life and legacy. Nick’s legacy includes a bucket list, with items such as learning how SunnyD is made, and visiting all 50 states. Whether it was the music by Viva Voices Choral Ensemble, the additional speakers, such as Renee Mahaffey Harris, President, and CEO of the Center for Closing the Health Gap, or the unveiling of the 2023 Celebrate Life Calendar, the Community Breakfast was a reminder of what we missed and what we could look forward to upon a new year.

Pictured is Aimee Cordrey, the keynote speaker at LifeCenter’s 2022 Community Breakfast. Her son, Nick, was an organ, eye and tissue donor.

Getting together as a community also has impact: After the event, a 66-year-old African American pastor registered as an organ, eye and tissue donor for the first time; and the CEO of Community Tissue Services, one of LifeCenter’s event sponsors, helped facilitate one of Nick Cordrey’s bucket list items for him to check off posthumously. He wanted to attend a World Cup game, so his picture traveled to Qatar for the World Cup.

Viva Voices Choral Ensemble performs before the start of LifeCenter’s 2022 Community Breakfast.

In addition to moving, inspiring speeches, LifeCenter recognized four individuals with its signature awards:

  • Anne Wolking, Living Kidney Donor, won the Champion for Life Award.
  • Jermaine Hill, Assistant Fire Chief of the Forest Park Fire Department, won the Theodore E. Smith Award.
  • JoAnna Tracy, Donor Mother, won the Legacy Award.
  • Robert Winter, Tissue Services Director at LifeCenter, won the Samantha Jameson Vision Award.

Congratulations to all the winners. We couldn’t achieve our mission and vision without you, or without the support from our sponsors, especially our hero sponsor, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Our special thanks to the Charles H. Dater Foundation for their grant support of the LifeCenter Celebrate Life Calendar.

Pictured is Jermaine Hill, Assistant Fire Chief of the Forest Park Fire Department, who won the Theodore E. Smith Award at LifeCenter’s 2022 Community Breakfast.

LifeCenter is a Donate Life Organization serves more than two million people throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Since 1981, the organization has worked closely with local hospitals to facilitate the recovery of organ and tissue donation, which has saved and healed countless lives in our community. You can make a difference just by saying “yes” and registering your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at lifepassiton.org.