Fostering Strength 2014

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 An Evening with Leigh Anne Tuohy
Cocktail hour: 6 p.m.  –  Dinner: 7 p.m.  –  The Hotel at Kirkwood Center

On May 17, 2014, JLCR hosted JLCR: Fostering Strength, Iowa’s largest foster care advocacy event, a dinner and silent auction which included a powerful call to action by Leigh Anne Tuohy.

Tuohy is best known for being featured in Michael Lewis’ 2006 book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, and its 2009 feature film adaptation The Blind Side, where she was played by Sandra Bullock. The book and film detail the whirlwind changes in their lives that the Tuohy family experienced as they added foster son Michael Oher to their family.

A foster parent, interior designer, mother, and community leader, Tuohy inspires audiences to recognize the full potential of individuals in their community—and to find value in those who society has deemed valueless.  In reflecting on the first time she met Michael Oher, her foster son, she said, “He had a much greater impact on our lives than we did on his life.”

Watch the video below for Leigh Anne’s take on why everyone, including foster care kids, should be valued.

Years after The Blind Side broke box office records and inspired individuals nationwide, Tuohy continues to make an impact. In July 2010, she and her husband, Sean, released the New York Times best-seller, In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving, and established their charity, The Making it Happen Foundation, which promotes awareness, provides hope, and improves standards of living for all the children fighting to survive in the invisible cracks in society.

Tuohy’s newest book, Making it Happen: Just Turn Around, details concrete action steps people can take to becoming more involved and giving—in both their community and in their one on one interactions with others. Through all of her projects, Leigh Anne continues her mission to inspire hope, ignite generosity, and make it happen for underserved youth.

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Tuohy is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, with a degree in interior design. She and her husband Sean are the parents of daughter Collins (26) and sons Michael Oher (26) and Sean, Jr. (19). She owns Flair I, a design firm with her mother and partner, Virginia Roberts. Tuohy was a member of the design team forExtreme Makeover: Home Edition Season 8 in 2010-11.

Proceeds from the Fostering Strength fundraiser supported Junior League of Cedar Rapids’ Bridging the G.A.P. project, which assists local foster care youth through a variety of activities. Click here for more information on Bridging the G.A.P.

There are more than 900 youth in the foster care system in Linn County alone. Come learn more about how we can work together to make life better for those who otherwise might fall between the cracks.

You can help by:

• Purchasing tickets and attending the 2015 Junior League of Cedar Rapids: Fostering Strength event, with your friends, book club, church group, or neighborhood.
• Donating to the Bridging the G.A.P. project:  http://juniorleaguecr.org/support-jlcr/make-a-gift/
• Helping us promote JLCR: Fostering Strength at local events
• Attending JLCR’s Speaker Series that addresses issues youth in the foster care system face
• Joining Junior League of Cedar Rapids: http://juniorleaguecr.org/join/