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Business EVENTS

Feb. 7 - Union Mission Announces Honoree and Guest Speaker for the 4th Annual Raising Hope

Category: Business Events

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

February 7, 2019 - Don and Kaye Robinson Kole, well-known philanthropists, educators, business leaders, genealogists, and collectors, have been chosen as the 2019 honorees of Union Mission’s 4th Annual Raising Hope.

This year’s event will be chaired by local realtor and Union Mission Board Member Ginna Carroll and is scheduled for Thursday, May 9, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah. Raising Hope is Union Mission’s largest fundraiser and provides direct funding for short and long-term housing, mental health counseling, career development and much more.  Union Mission is committed to “partnering with people to end their homelessness through housing and supportive services.”

The Kole’s involvement with and support for Union Mission spans several decades. In addition to chairing Union Mission’s board of directors, Mr. Kole has served in leadership roles of numerous well-respected Savannah non-profits including The Armstrong Foundation, Candler Hospital Foundation, Georgia Historical Society, Hospice Savannah, Jewish Educational Alliance, King-Tisdell Museum, Savannah Jewish Federation and the United Way of the Coastal Empire.

Mrs. Kole, a former librarian, founded the Savannah Jewish Archives and authored several books on the Jewish community of Savannah. She is an active member of the Georgia Historical Society, the American Jewish Historical Society, the Savannah Area Genealogical Association, and the Southern Jewish Historical Society. Live Oak Public Libraries named the Kaye Kole Genealogy & Local History Room in her honor.

Since marrying in 1955, Mr. Kole, a graduate of Boston University and a U.S. Army veteran, and Mrs. Kole, a Savannah native and graduate of Armstrong State University, have devoted themselves to family, community and commerce. Early on, Mr. Kole joined Bay Street Lumber, the Robinsons’ family business, which was developed with Paul Robinson into Builderama, a home supply chain sold in 1986. In 1991, he formed Kole Management Company, a real estate investment and management firm, run today by son Jeff Kole. KMC has grown to include 14 apartment communities and five warehouse distribution facilities.

Mr. and Mrs. Kole also have one daughter, Deborah Kole Shelton, and five grandchildren. Both are active members of Congregation Mickve Israel and Mr. Kole serves as a director emeritus of First Chatham Bank.

Confirmed as the keynote speaker for Raising Hope, Richard Berry brings to Savannah years of experience and success implementing innovative strategies to reduce homelessness. As two-term mayor of Albuquerque, Mr. Berry advanced initiatives to provide daily work and housing for the homeless; programs he respectively named “There’s A Better Way” and “Albuquerque Heading Home.” After these programs were highlighted in a recorded TedxTalk, Mr. Berry received over 1.1 million views and subsequent invitations to address audiences interested in partnering with the homeless for a safe and stable future.

During his time as mayor, Mr. Berry served as chairman of the US Conference of Mayors Metro Economies Committee and as chairman of the Community Leaders of America (CLA). Before being elected as mayor of Albuquerque, Mr. Berry served in the New Mexico House of Representatives.

For sponsorship or ticket information regarding Raising Hope, contact Union Mission’s Director of Strategy and Development Mark Toth at 248-770-3933 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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