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More than $200,000 Raised for Life Learning Center at Roast of Bill Butler

More than $200,000 was raised for the Life Learning Center, the Covington-based organization that helps people who have faced past troubles get a second chance at education and employment opportunities.

The Center hosted its first annual gala at the Drees Pavilion on March 15 and more than 300 people attended the Irish-themed event. Bill Butler, chairman of Corporex and the man behind the Life Learning Center, was the target of a comedic roast that featured the likes of Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach and former Bengals player Dhani Jones.

The Life Learning Center will soon move to a new location inside a renovated Stewart Iron Works building in central Covington.

Construction began in February and is part of a $3.5 million redevelopment of that part of the city that also includes a new home for the Kentucky Career Center that will take shape on the site of the former Robke Chevrolet lot.

At the celebration of the commencement of construction at the Stewart Iron Works building, Butler announced that he still hoped to raise $850,000 from private donors for the Life Learning Center's efforts.

The Life Learning Center is funded privately and takes no government money. It has helped transform the lives of more than nine hundred students, or as the Center calls them, members.

"We're different because it's a long-term platform," Butler said at the time. "I have been for years giving money here and there and everywhere to the social services, which I believe in. But the problem was, we never fixed anything."

That's different with the Center.

"(The Life Learning Center) is a place that provides hope for at-risk people ready to commit to transformational change in their lives," said Ed Hughes, Chairman of the Board at the Life Learning Center and President & CEO of Gateway Community & Technical College, in February. Hughes said that the Center takes an holistic approach to that transformational change with an emphasis on physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, and relationship work.

Photo: Bill Butler, Bagpiper Josh Quinn, and Sue Butler enjoyed the Center's Irish-themed Gala. (Photo credit: Steven Thomas, Photographic Memories)