Lake Norman & Mooresville

Hope Gala to benefit 4 charities

Mooresville charitable foundation Hope at the Point will host its second annual black-tie optional Hope Gala fundraiser Jan. 28 at the Charles Mack Citizen Center.

The foundation has a goal of raising $100,000 for four charities. The Gala's theme will be "A Taste of New Orleans and All That Jazz."

The menu will include New Orleans-themed hors d'oeuvres and champagne, followed by a three-course meal with wine pairings.

The master of ceremonies will be WCNC-TV's Kellie Patterson.

The program will include a silent auction and a live auction offering a variety of items, including boat trips on Lake Norman and in Charleston. Charlotte band A Sign of the Times will perform. Band member Tyrone Jefferson was formerly a music director for the late James Brown, a Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductee. The festivities will continue with dancing after dinner.

Major sponsors of the Hope Gala include Randy Marion Auto Group and Chuck and Eileen Stoner of the Stoner Group.

The Hope at the Point Foundation was started in 2003 by a group of golfers from The Point, a Mooresville neighborhood, after they lost two friends - one to brain cancer and the other to leukemia.

One of its first fundraisers was a golf tournament that raised $53,000 for Duke University's Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center.

Since its start in 2003, the foundation has raised $800,000 to benefit what they have labeled the three Cs: children, community and cancer.

The first Hope Gala brought inmore than $65,000 for the Children's Home of Iredell County and Barium Springs Home for Children. More than 80 people attended.

The Hope at the Point Foundation hopes to double attendance this year.

Proceeds will benefit four local charities: the Mooresville Christian Mission, the Mooresville Soup Kitchen, Health Reach Community Clinic, and local efforts by Purple Heart Homes, which buys foreclosed homes and refurbishes them for disabled veterans.

"The number one goal is to look for organizations where the money will stay local," Joe Tilton, board member of Hope at the Point and a resident at The Point, said of choosing charitable efforts to support.

Hope at the Point also tries to have representatives of each charity it supports help with planning the gala.

One of these representatives is Sandra West, director of Development for the Mooresville Christian Mission and a resident at The Point. West is motivated to help the community by the need that exists locally.

"Once I learned that in the town of Mooresville alone there are over 4,000 families seeking public assistance for poverty and low income, I knew that I had the time and the ability (to help), and needed to get involved," said West.

West said the money donated to the Christian Mission will fund crisis assistance programs and the Mission's Circle Initiative, a mentoring and partnership program to help develop self-sufficiency in individuals who are committed to getting out of poverty.

"It's a win-win when I can connect people who want to help with people who need help," said West.

Joe Tilton notes that though retired from his career in the corporate world, he and other foundation members still consider themselves movers and shakers.

They are simply moving and shaking in a different way, by helping their community through Hope at the Point, he said.

"I've been blessed, so it's my time to give back," Tilton said.