|Questions: Paper Delivery|
|Breaking Open the Word|
|Saint of the Week|
|World & Nation|
Gala to feature inspiring talk by burn survivor John O’Leary
SEEDS OF HOPE:
What: Dinner, auction and program
Speaker: John O’Leary
When: 5:30 p.m. Nov. 19
Where: Grand Hyatt Denver, 1750 Welton St.
Purchase tickets: www.seedsofhopetrust.org
Questions: Call 303-715-3186 or e-mail email@example.com
By Julie Filby
A powerful testimonial of how God’s love pulled John O’Leary through being a burn victim and other life challenges will be shared at the 12th annual Evening of Hope benefit gala.
The event is set for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Denver.
The gala is the primary fundraiser for Seeds of Hope Charitable Trust, a partnership between the Denver Archdiocese and business and community leaders to provide tuition assistance to students who otherwise may not be able to afford a Catholic education.
The evening will feature cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions, and a keynote talk by international speaker O’Leary.
O’Leary, who was named one of the Top Ten Most Interesting People in St. Louis by local newspaper The Ladue News, will offer testimony on the power of faith, family and community in his talk “Hope Heals All.”
He will share how has he seen God as a 9-year-old child who suffered burns on 100 percent of his body, as an adult with the challenge of living with scars and raising a family, as a son learning from a father with Parkinson’s disease, and as a chaplain at a children’s hospital.
“By discovering a deeper appreciation of God’s love in our lives, everyone regardless of the circumstances, has the ability to overcome obstacles, achieve dreams and experience real joy,” O’Leary told the Denver Catholic Register. “I’m humbled to partner with Seeds of Hope and salute their mission of providing Catholic education to economically disadvantaged children. As a student of Catholic education from kindergarten to college, I greatly value the importance of faith-based learning and its powerful impact on children.”
Seeds of Hope aims to raise $400,000 at the Evening of Hope through sponsorships, ticket sales and auction proceeds. Top auction items include dinner with school principals, dinner with the archdiocese vicar general Msgr. Thomas S. Fryar, fighter pilot for a day in a Mig 17, Colorado Rockies tickets and a trip to Las Vegas.
“Evening of Hope is crucial to the success of Seeds of Hope by providing us with a forum to fund scholarships for deserving students,” said Justin Zuiker, development manager. “The support we receive will go a long way in making Catholic education available to families in need.”
Since its inception Seeds of Hope has awarded more than $20 million in assistance to 12,000 students. One such student was Essence Moore, who attended Annunciation School.
“My mother worked long hours at multiple jobs to ensure my sisters and I had the opportunity to receive a Catholic education,” she said. “Annunciation did not let us fall through the gaps of our mother’s sacrifice.”
Though her mother’s dedication and financial help from Seeds of Hope, Moore continued her education, graduating from Bishop Machebeuf High School and the University of Denver.
“As my journey continued, the value of my mother’s sacrifice began to make sense,” she said. “Many of our neighborhood friends couldn’t read; some couldn’t count. They were rushing to get home to check the mailbox to hide their report cards from their parents.”
Seeds of Hope focuses support on the following Catholic schools in Denver: Annun-ciation, Guardian Angels, Loyola, Presentation of our Lady, St. Francis de Sales, St. Rose of Lima, Assumption, Blessed Sacrament, St. Catherine of Siena—plus St. Anthony in Sterling, St. Louis in Englewood, Sts. Peter and Paul in Wheat Ridge, and St. Therese in Aurora.
“Seeds of Hope is changing the lives of the children attending Catholic Schools and their families,” said Betsy Boudreau, executive director. “We’re strengthening and stabilizing Catholic schools in marginalized communities, which are a vital source of hope in the neighborhoods they serve.”
This year they funded 300 more students than last year, and reinstated an Emergency Tuition Assistance Fund that allowed them to support an additional 64 students. The organization also provided 200 volunteers to school communities.
Honorary co-chairs for Evening of Hope are Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M, Cap., Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley and Msgr. Fryar. The master of ceremonies will be Kyle Dyer, morning anchor of Denver’s 9News.
Individual tickets are $300. A patron table of 10 costs $3,000. To purchase tickets, visit www.seedsofhopetrust.org, call Seeds of Hope at 303-715-3186 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The reservation deadline is Nov. 10.