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2017 ACTS Spring Banquet:

An "Insider's" Guide to the Banquet

When: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Where: Drumlins Country Club

Address: 800 Nottingham Road, Syracuse, NY

Price for Single Ticket: $65

We invite you to join us at the 2017 ACTS Spring Banquet. Together we will reinvigorate the fight for social justice. 


            In last week’s issue of the newsletter, we provided an insightful interview with our Keynote Speaker, Kathryn Howe Ruscitto. This week, we asked Simangaliso Smith a few questions about the Spring Banquet. “Liso,” as many in the ACTS Community know her, is our Office Manager and one of the chief organizers of the Banquet.


            The thing Liso likes best about her role as Office Manager is, “supporting our volunteers and seeing their growth and success.”


            Liso is the bridge that connects diverse communities within the ACTS network. She works hard to collect vital information from community leaders and distributes it to the places which need it most. One of those places is the ACTS Newsletter, which owes much of its success to her diligence.



​Liso will soon be moving to North Carolina for warmer weather and new opportunities after six busy years with ACTS. The ACTS Community will sorely miss the perseverance and clarity she brings to the organization process. Whoever fills her shoes will be promised a worthy challenge, and will accomplish much by following the example she has practiced.


Read our short Q&A with Liso below:


How many organizations and congregations will be attending the 2017 ACTS Spring Banquet?


The Spring Banquet will have a total of 430 people attending. This includes 33 congregations and organizations. Many of these organizations have bought multiple tables for their members, so we should see a great turnout with lots of people from all over the Syracuse community.


Some examples of the organizations attending are All Saints, St. Lucy’s, The Allyn Foundation, the CNY Community Foundation, Members of the Onondaga County Government, Syracuse University, Le Moyne College, and the Syracuse Police Department. Finally, we’ll have quite a few public officials present, along with many of the candidates for the upcoming Mayoral Race.



Will attendees receive updates on the social justice mission of ACTS?


Yes. In the beautiful booklets that will be handed out is information about the work ACTS has done recently through its Task Forces. Our Keynote Speaker, Kathryn Howe Ruscitto, will also talk about social justice in Syracuse.


The theme of the Banquet is “ACTing for a Just Community,” so much of the atmosphere at the banquet will be about community collaboration. We want to build alliances and friendships in the community to address issues of race, power, and poverty.



What makes this Banquet different than the Banquets of previous years?

We’ll see plenty of new faces there. The CNY Community Foundation will be a new attendee, and so will the Allyn Foundation. Also, anytime University students attend the banquet it means we will be inspiring new youth in the community. Ms. Ruscitto knows her stuff too, and will be a spot-on and exciting speaker.



What are you personally most excited about for this year’s Banquet?


For me, it’s my last Spring Banquet. So, I’m excited to see all the smiling faces before I move to North Carolina. I’m excited to hear Ms. Ruscitto speak. Most of all, I’m excited to see which youth attend. We’ll have kids from the Universities and the City Schools in attendance, and that’s great.



What do you think of when you hear, “social justice.”


When the word “social” comes to mind, I think of people coming together and working to change the community. To me, “justice” means doing the right thing for the common good. Justice means doing the moral thing. My morals came from faith and the way I was raised.


From Matthew 22:39 I remember this lesson, “Love your neighbor as you would love yourself.” That’s one of my favorite quotes, and it’s something that’s informed my philosophy in life and my opinion on social justice.



Why is the Banquet needed to accomplish our social justice mission? 


For a couple of reasons.


It’s a good opportunity for people to see both familiar faces and a diverse crowd. It’s an opportunity to come together. Additionally, the banquet is like a “who’s who?” in the local community. People network, politicians gauge local opinions and garner votes, and social justice groups share information.


For ACTS, all the Task Forces and other sections of the ACTS Community will be there. Usually, these distinct groups within the ACTS Community accomplish their tasks independently. The Spring Banquet gives them a chance to come together and collaborate.


From a practical point of view, the Spring Banquet is a vital portion of ACTS fundraising. On April 25th, we raise funds for everything that we do throughout the Syracuse Community. The 2017 Spring Banquet will support the other social justice events that we run throughout the following months. For example, it will help fund our cooperation with “Color of Change,” a national racial justice organization. If you want to check out what work they are doing now, follow this link


The banquet raises upwards of $25-30,000 each year. But beyond just money, the ACTS 2017 Spring Banquet will raise awareness for social justice issues happening in Syracuse right now. The mission of ACTS will be displayed for the 430 people who attend, and that will be spread to many people in their networks, and so on. It’s just a great catalyst for positive change in our community.

Individual tickets are 65 dollars, with group tickets available for the purchase of tables at the banquet. Additionally, one may also purchase sponsorships or ad-spots to promote their local business or organization.

To purchase tickets online: 

To purchase an advertisement: 

To purchase a sponsorship: 

            Everyone is welcome to attend this exciting event, and encouraged to bring their loved ones, friends, and colleagues. The 2017 ACTS Spring Banquet will be both vital and jubilant, with social justice work exhibited through the polychromatic personalities of Syracuse’s people. Next week, we plan to offer you another glimpse into the celebration, when we speak with Kathryne How Ruscitto, the Keynote Speaker of the 2017 ACTS Spring Banquet. See you next week!

Let's Transform Syracuse Together

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