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Quotes from Newspaper Articles about Training Programs Produced
by CAN DO! and the Community Development Resource Center

 “When we brought Les Brown here last fall, no one knew what to expect,” said CAN DO! President Gary Moore. “The organization was prepared to take a loss of $10,000 just to start bringing a positive message to our community.” Instead they made a profit. And they made a plan: to bring every major motivational speaker to the area until Kankakee becomes known as a Mecca of Motivation. “Our mission is to make a positive difference . . .  to help people resolve their problems and look at the positive side of life “ said Moore.

Walter Charlton, retired entrepreneur and active philanthropist who cofounded CAN DO! “We hope that by bringing top motivational speakers here, we will create a more positive attitude to help residents realize this is a good place to live.”

“Through the vision and expertise of Charles Betterton, president of CENTER SPACE, we created CAN DO! as an example to help other communities learn how to produce these types of events while retaining the income they generate for community benefit,” Charlton said. CENTER SPACE’s mission is to foster spiritual, personal and community empowerment, partly by providing expanded access to state-of-the-art development training programs that are usually marketed to a small percentage of the population.

The members of the CAN DO! Steering Committee which produced the recent events with Les Brown and Dr. John Bowling, have declared their first event a success and they have decided to continue with their efforts. The CAN DO! Mission statement includes five major points:

1. Foster community unity and multicultural understanding.
2. Promote positive thinking within and about Kankakee County.
3. Foster personal, organizational and community development and empowerment.
4. Provide expanded access to development training programs.
5. Generate funds for worthwhile community service projects.

According to Walter J. Charlton, President of the Kankakee County Community Development Corporation that Charles Betterton had founded before he served as Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Kankakee, said the first CAN DO! Events exceeded their expectations. “Our initial goals were to have 5 sponsors, five co-sponsors, 200 workshop participants and 1,000 seminar participants.

We actually had 10 sponsors, 10 co-sponsors, 350 people for the workshops and about 1,400 for the seminar. Even though we provided full or partial scholarships to over 200 students, we still generated approximately $12,000 in net profits for the events. These funds will be used to support the KCDC and provide seed money for future training programs.”

More details are available at, and