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Village Shalom Ages of Excellence Celebration set for Nov. 14

CNN political analyst and former U.S. presidential advisor David Gergen has been announced as the featured speaker for Village Shalom’s 2018 Ages of Excellence Celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza.

Beginning with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m., proceeds from Ages of Excellence benefit the continuing care retirement community’s Financial Assistance Program, which serves residents who have exhausted their financial resources and rely on the community for vital care.

“I am very proud to say we have never had to ask a resident to leave Village Shalom because of their inability to pay for the cost of care,” said Village Shalom President and CEO Matt Lewis. “The proceeds we raise through Ages of Excellence help us stay true to our mission, allowing all of our residents to live the highest possible quality of life.”

One in four residents on Village Shalom’s main campus receive support from the Financial Assistance Program, totaling $1.5 million annually. Residents who benefit from the program represent a broad range of demographics and religious backgrounds with various reasons for receiving assistance.

Lives are changed for the better every single day because of all Village Shalom does, and all they give to one another,” said Ages of Excellence Co-Chair Roshann Parris. “I couldn’t be more energized to co-chair this meaningful event for a Village Shalom community of extraordinary leaders, caregivers and residents.”

Roshann Parris (left) and Allison Berey (right) will co-chair the 2018 Ages of Excellence Celebration. 

Allison Berey will co-chair this year’s event with Parris.

“I have been so honored to serve on Village Shalom’s Board and to Chair the Ages event these last two years,” said Berey. My family has benefited many times over the years from Village Shalom’s incomparable level of care, and the Financial Assistance Program is crucial to its mission.”

This year’s Ages of Excellence Celebration comes a week after the mid-term elections, and Gergen will take the stage at 7 p.m. to share his insights into the election. Gergen will speak for 20 minutes followed by an interview moderated by The Kansas City Star Vice President and Editorial Page Editor Colleen McCain Nelson.

Currently a senior political analyst on CNN and professor of public service and director of Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, Gergen served as an advisor to four U.S. presidents of both parties: Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton.

“The opportunity to have the perspective of David Gergen only days after an important American election is extraordinary,” Parris said. “David will bring to Kansas City an unparalleled bipartisan view of the political landscape. A rare and fascinating evening awaits us all.”

Gergen has been a public affairs commentator for over 30 years. He began a career in journalism in the 1980s with The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour. Gergen contributed to two Peabody award-winning election coverage teams and participated in two Emmy award-winning political analyst teams. He served as the chief editor of U.S. News & World Report in the late1980s.

A North Carolina native, Gergen sits on several non-profit boards including Teach for America, The Mission Continues, The Trilateral Commission and Elon University’s School of Law. He is also a member of the D.C. Bar, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the U.S. executive committees for the Trilateral Commission.

For more information on reservations and sponsorships for the 2018 Ages of Excellence event, please visit or contact Village Shalom Development Manager Nikol Terrill at 913-266-8119 or  

“When we come together each year, I am reminded that the opportunity to remain in one’s home when unforeseen financial circumstances occur is invaluable,” said Berey.