Hopeland’s 2018 Gala was a beautiful, and powerful, event bringing together some of NYC’s biggest hitters to hear how Hopeland is finding better ways to keep children in families while enjoying performances from Ari Afsar and Keala Settle.
The room was packed in spite of one of the earliest snowstorms in New York City’s history that brought six inches of snow and many downed trees.
The crowd heard from Dr Bertice Berry, the host for the evening, who’s powerful story of how she adopted her sister’s children to prevent them from ending up in the foster care system moved us all. This was of course not an easy task for her but she told the gala, “We have the power to make a difference in a child’s life – that’s why we’re here tonight.”
The first musical performance of the evening was from the up and coming artist Ari Afsar who is best known for playing Eliza Schuyler in the hit musical Hamilton. She performed ‘Dear Theodosia’ which was particularly apt for the evening as it is a song in which Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr speak to their children about their hopes for the future. The lyrics “If we lay a strong enough foundation, We’ll pass it on to you, We’ll give the world to you, And you’ll blow us all away”, speak perfectly to how children, with the support of a safe, loving family will thrive and do incredible things. This is exactly why Hopeland works to ensure every child has the support they need.
“Just because you didn’t cause the problem, doesn’t mean you can’t be part of the solution.” Hopeland’s CEO and Co-Founder, Nick Evans, used this call to action to rally those in the room to support our cause – based on donations on the night the call was heeded. Nick ran through Hopeland’s achievements in 2018 – read more here – and it is already looking like a great 2019 for Hopeland thanks to our many generous family members.
“Hopeland is about making sure every kid has someone that is fighting for them” were the words of Hugh Jackman as he introduced the star of the evening, The Greatest Showman’s Keala Settle. Keala spoke about what Hopeland means to her and then sang Mariah Carey’s ‘Hero’ and of course ‘This Is Me’ – the inspirational hit of 2018.
Keala’s incredible voice got the whole room on their feet and sent Hopeland’s supporters home with Dr. Berry’s mantra in their ears: “when you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny”. We all came together with the purpose of keeping children in families and thanks to our collision at the gala we have a stronger Hopeland family for 2019.