The “Civic Century,” is an age when people become the driving force that transforms our world. The solutions to the problems we face begin when individuals step forward, lend a hand and become a stand for change and meaningful civic engagement. For as much as Challenge Enterprises asks the community for support, this agency often answers “YES!” to the call for help. It is this “Up for the Challenge” mindset that leads to the beginning of an extraordinary honor:
One day in 2005, I was looking at the Jeb Bush Florida Governor’s website and noticed the Point of Light Logo. I had no idea what it was, so I clicked on it. A window popped up to send an email, so I did. I asked about the logo and went on and on about the nonprofit I worked for.
For what seemed like a long time, I heard nothing, and then suddenly, a call came in from the Governor’s Office. The caller said, “Your agency is selected as the Governor’s Point of Light for the week of October 17, 2005, and your website will be featured on the Governor’s website for that week.” Then we received a certificate and letter from the Governor.
The agency name was just changed that month and I asked if the certificate could be re-printed with our new name of Challenge Enterprises of North Florida, Inc. They agreed and sent an updated certificate, which was framed along with the original letter from the governor. Afterward, my Board President, Chief Operations Officer, and I were invited to the Governor’s Mansion for a reception with the other Point of Light recipients.
One Monday in January 2006, a call comes in from the Point of Light office. The lady says, “Congratulations on the award to Challenge Enterprises of North Florida, Inc. Your date is March 8th.” I said, “No, our date was October 17, and we have our certificate proudly displayed in the lobby.” She said, “Ms. Keating your date is March 8 for Challenge Enterprises.” I read the certificate to her, explaining the October 17 date and how our website was on the Governor’s site. “Ms. Keating what you don’t understand, this Point of Light Award is from President George W. Bush and your date is March the 8th.” I almost fell out of my chair!
When the agency celebrated its 40th Anniversary, Jo Binder wrote a letter to First Lady Barbara Bush. She responded with a letter on her Kennebunkport Stationary, congratulating the agency for 40 years of service.
Imagine a small nonprofit recognized by two Presidents, a First Lady, and a Governor…all from the same family. When I tell visitors about our Point of Light story, I start off facing the Governor’s nicely framed Certificate and Letter, then I have them turn around to face President George W. Bush’s Certificate, followed by the letter from Point of Light Founder President George H. Bush and finish off with the letter from First Lady Barbara Bush. I love telling the story and sharing our Point of Light story.
All of us at Challenge Enterprises are very proud to be working and/or volunteering at a recognized Point of Light Agency. We do our best to continue to shine for the individuals with different abilities seeking our services and employment opportunities.
And that is the rest of the story as told by Nancy C. Keating, CEO of Challenge Enterprises of North Florida.