Thirty years of local Head Start was celebrated with 30 tiny decorated chairs just the right size for preschoolers.

The Chair Project table centerpieces were a focal point at the children a head start benefit, a breakfast and cocktail hour Nov. 1 at The Antlers hotel.

The two events drew 900 people who donated close to $150,000 for programs in 75 classrooms in six school districts and family child-care homes and on Fort Carson, the only one on a military facility. The tiny decorated chairs will be sold at fundraisers throughout the year.

President and CEO Noreen Landis-Tyson has been with CPCD for 26 of the 30 years and charts two generations helping more than 50,000 children and their families “who have had a chair in the classroom.”

Those at the benefit were entertained by the CPCD Ballet Company under the direction of Sydney Graham and Natalie Unger. Story time of “Be Brave Little One” was read by teacher Katherine Hall. The Chair Panel discussion was from all parts of the CPCD program, including an alumnus, board member, military parent and single father: Geoffrey Browning, Tyrone Johnson, Sgt. 1st Class Derek Day and Josh Martinez.

Board member Andy Inman said he, like many of the sponsors and supporters, was fortunate to grow up in a family that could support his education. But, “there are children sitting in the Head Start chairs for whom that is not possible.” He encouraged pledges and donations, saying he never forgets the words of original CPCD board member Paul Isenstadt: “You can pay me now or pay me later.”

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