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Illuminate Hope Gala empowers teen mothers and their children

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Grace's Table
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The annual gala, hosted by Grace's Table, kicks off at 6:30pm on Wednesday, Oct. 6 and will feature stories of hope, a live art auction, food and more.

Grace's Table will host its Illuminate Hope Gala on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The fundraising event, held at 6:30pm in the Downtown Market, sets out to empower teen mothers and their children, by providing them with access to resources, friendships and mentoring.

"So often young moms between the ages of 13-24 are pushed to the fringe and marginalized, and we know that we’re better when we’re connected, and families thrive when we’re connected to community," Lisa Anderson, Founder and Executive Director of Grace's Table said.

Wednesday night's event will feature stories of hope, live art, and food, among other activities. Anderson said she's seen these words of perseverance have real-life impact.

"We have a mom and her little one who’s going to join us, and one of the neat things she actually learned abut Grace’s Table when she was working as a server at our last gala in 2019," Anderson explained, "She heard our mom sharing at that gala, and she was a brand new mom with a 6 week old, 18 years old and she was like 'how do I get involved?"

Funds from the gala will go towards the educational and parenting programs at Grace’s Table. Anderson said it’s also an opportunity for other community members walk alongside families to help them thrive, especially after a difficult year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When you’re navigating something that’s maybe not planned for or you’re not sure how to navigate this new space, sometimes things can feel bleak, and you can feel defeated...One of the things that we love about seeing moms connect at Grace's Table is to see that glimmer of hope come back into their eyes," Andeson said.