Tonight at Courtyard by Marriott, the Columbus Young Professionals will hold a meeting to discuss its rebrand.
Founded by the Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce, CYP as a means of bringing engaged young adults together for networking opportunities, the meeting marks a profound change in the organization’s mission.
For starters, the group will probably have to change its name after making the decision to lift its age restriction (previously capped at age 35).
But The Columbus Not Quite So Young As We Once Were Professionals have weightier matters to discuss at this meeting, which will be held from 6-8 p.m. and open to the public.
The meeting will serve to announce that while CYP members may still find opportunities to network and socialize when they meet, they are more likely to have a hammer in their hand than a cocktail.
The new CYP will focus on service to the community, partnering with John Almond, founder of The Golden Triangle Dream Center to identify service projects.
Almond started the Dream Center by himself with little support and his own money after encountering a mother and child in Columbus who had no bed. He started building beds in 2019. Since then, his Bedz4Kidz program has built and placed 311 beds in the Golden Triangle with the help of private citizens, churches, civic groups and local businesses. The Dream Center has since partnered with The Mission, a residential recovery center in West Point founded by Dickie Bryan, a local pastor. Dream Center has also started an Adopt a Block program to identify and meet the needs of poor people throughout the Golden Triangle.
Almond has more ideas than volunteers needed to make them a reality. The CYP has volunteers, but no projects.
This appears to be a perfect fit.
Much as it is with groups such as the 100+ Women Who Care groups that have started up in Columbus and Starkville, the efforts of the individual are greatly multiplied through group efforts.
We urge young — and not so young — professionals (or non-professionals, for that matter) to turn out for tonight’s meeting.
We commend the Chamber and the CYP for this change of focus and are eager to see what can be accomplished through its partnership with the Dream Center.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.