The Dasie Bridgewater Hope Center glittered with a red and gold motif and festive Christmas decorations during its fourth annual Wreaths and Wine fundraising event to support the nonprofit, deemed: “The Miracle on 64th Avenue: A safe place for children to envision their future and create a productive life for themselves.”
Arriving guests sipped wine while visiting with one another and bidding on a large assortment of donated silent auction items and beautifully decorated wreaths, some donated by local florists and others created by Lois Harding, a Dasie Hope staff member.
Before dinner, Kamara Simon, a very poised young lady, took the stage, delighting the audience with the presentation of a humorous monologue called, “The Present.”
“I’m sure each of you knows the reason you’re here: to support the Dasie Hope kids and all we do for them,” said board member Cassandra Hendley. “Fundraisers like this are what helps keep smiles on their faces all through the year.”
The Wabasso-based nonprofit founded by Verna Wright in 2001 to honor the memory of her mother, Dasie Bridgewater, strives daily to promote learning and education, recognizing it as the key to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Dasie Hope provides quality afterschool and summer academic and recreational programs to roughly 100 children from kindergarten through high school. Students are tutored in classrooms and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) lab.
Extracurricular activities and social skills training are also encouraged as additional methods of broadening their chances for success. Students are involved with various cultural outreach programs, such as at Riverside Theatre, where they took part this past year performing on the Stark Stage in Disney’s “The Lion King Kids.”
“In January we’re going to start our Amazing Handshake, where our students will learn how to do a proper handshake,” said Wright.
“They’re also going to learn mock business operations. A competition will eliminate kids after each round, and at least two will get to go to two businesses – Craft Stop and Pineapple Joe’s. They’re going to run those businesses for two hours. Whoever collects the most points along the way will win the Amazing Handshake.”
Guests at the event enjoyed a mouthwatering buffet featuring chicken Marsala, mushroom risotto, shrimp and grits with marinara, and pork tenderloin with a pumpkin sauce, concluding with tasty desserts, created by Emily Duval and Joy Tomes, with earlier assistance from Kenny Porazzo of Quail Valley Golf Club.
For more information, visit dasiehope.org.