Honoree Dr. Mary S. DeShields, MD
On Saturday evening, December 9, the Foundation of Hope held its annual fundraising gala at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, Maryland. Approximately 200 supporters, donors and public officials attended.
The Foundation of Hope Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization established to help women and young girls through economic empowerment initiatives. It serves girls in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade at Easton Middle School to encourage them to be viable participants in the future workforce and help build a stronger community. The program runs from January to June. Discussions and class activities cover such topics as dealing with low self-esteem, bullying, social media, workforce development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and other age-appropriate issues. To date, the program has served over 60 girls.
Accomplishments of the organization are the purchasing of a parcel of land at 52 South Washington Street in downtown Easton to be developed into the foundation's new headquarters and learning space, publishing of the Economic Development and Empowerment program workbook, receiving $30,000 in Covid relief funds, a$150,000 Maryland Bond Bill, raising $1.1 million for a capital building project, and holding a Broadway revue, " Hope in Harmony" at the Oxford Community Center.
The gala included remarks from President and Founder Keasha Haythe, recognition of elected officials, board members and sponsors, an invocation from Pastor Deborah Grant, Faith City Central, an overview of the Foundation, words from past participant Maia Bailey, dinner, dancing and a silent auction.
Recognized at the Gala were donors the Kappa Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Tabitha's Circle (St. Marks United Methodist Church); and First Hope Scholarship recipient Lilyanna Cook.
Special Honoree was Mary S. DeShields, MD, Director of the HOPE Foundation for her special contribution to the Foundation and the community via her medical practice and community service with her husband Dennis. In her speech, Dr. DeShields spoke of her mother who was her inspiration and the support and love of her husband and children.
The evening concluded with the announcement of the winners of the silent auction and dancing.
For more information or to donate, go to foundationofhopemaryland.org