Night of Hope funds fight against domestic violence

Participants flooded the Jackson Avenue Coffee shop on Saturday

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Chrissy Miller

Motherlode performed “Shady Grove” and “Stand by Me” at the Night of Hope in the Jackson Avenue Coffee shop. Gaye Harrison played violin, Althea Pendergast was on the base violin and Wendy Meyer played the acoustic guitar.

Dara McGee, Contributing Writer

Community members engaged in music, food and art at the 13th annual Night of Hope inside the Jackson Avenue Coffee shop.

Big Blue Mountain and Motherlode played in the backroom as Night of Hope goers walked around drinking their hot chocolates, lattes and frappuccino’s discussing the various pieces of art that were lined up on the walls.

The main attraction was the silent auction that went from Sunday the 24th to Friday the 29th.

Art, books, jewelry and other items were all auctioned off to raise money for the Housing Outreach Prevention and Education organization, a domestic violence housing program.

Mariah Smith, a sophomore English student said she signed up to volunteer to fulfill her service learning hour requirement.

“I’m enjoying my time and experience here,” Smith said. “The music is great, as well as the hot chocolate. I would definitely come back to this event again.”

Ashley Wheaton, a senior biological science major, said she has worked with HOPE in the past year to raise money for their program and she said she was excited to continue this work through Night of Hope.

Chrissy Miller
Peter Andrews, a mathematics and computer sciences professor, and his wife, Holly Andrews, look at items in the Night of Hope’s the silent auction. Peter Andrews said they have been to almost every Night of Hope and enjoy seeing the creativity of the artwork and gift baskets the community puts together for the auction. “It’s a great cause and you get something for your money too,” he said.

“I’m here to come out and support HOPE,” Wheaton said.

Angie Gordon Hunt, the Housing Program director for HOPE, said Night of Hope is one of the organizations biggest programs they have every year.

“My favorite part about this event is definitely seeing the community coming together,” Hunt said. “You’ve got everyone at this. You have community members; you have Eastern Illinois University students attending. You see people of all ages at this event and people of all backgrounds here. It’s just a night where everyone kind of comes together and just has a great time.”

To Hunt, the Night of Hope event definitely hits close to home. Twenty-five years ago, Hunt herself was a client here at the facility.

“They offered me so much support, and then they helped me go through all my different options; what my rights were,” Hunt said.

There were so many steps to take, Hunt said, but the most important thing was the emotional support and finding out what she was able to do to protect herself and her family.

HOPE’s housing program alone has helped around 150 to 200 people a year.

Dano Reible, the owner of Jackson Avenue Coffee Shop, said since he has been a big supporter of HOPE, they asked him to join the board.

“We were planning this and having a good time, and then they said, ‘Well you’re already so involved, you might as well get more involved,’” he said.

Reible said he is always excited for the Night of Hope and is proud of what it stands for.

“This is a big night for us and it’s very important to us,” Reible said.

 

Dara McGee can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]