There is nothing greater than knowing you are fulfilling the dreams of families and people in need. Last night, members of Northwest Indiana celebrated with Hannah’s Hope at the local nonprofit’s Annual 2018 Dreams Gala.
Hannah’s Hope is an organization that enhances the lives of children with disabilities and their families. After experiencing their own hardships when raising their daughter Hannah, who was born with disabilities following a stroke and passed away in 2012, the Martinez family realized that many families like their own were burdened by the astronomical costs of therapy and treatment, on top of day-to-day care. So they decided it was time to make a difference in their community.
The Dreams Gala is just one of the events Hannah’s Hope hosts throughout the year. From events like their annual Golf Outing to events with bowling, softball, and even crafting, Hannah’s Hope channels various outlets for all types of people in order to fulfill their mission. But it’s the Dreams Gala that brings the entire community together to make a difference for those who need it most. The money raised from last night’s event went specifically to those on the waitlist for Hannah’s Hope Equipment Assistance Program (EAP) in Lake and La Porte county.
“I’ve seen the impact from the Equipment Assistance Program. It’s a great program that I’ve seen work in our community and I will continue to support it,” said guest Kelly Fitmaurice.
The Equipment Assistance Program provides equipment recommended by a therapist or doctor that a family cannot afford for their child in need. It covers the cost of the equipment, along with medical bills and other types of therapy equipment, such as braces, wheelchairs, or helmets.
There were many fun ways to contribute to the EAP program at the Dreams Gala. For starters, each ticket purchase alone was a step in the contribution process. The Gala incorporated a Paddle Race that started at $1,000 in an auctioneer fashion. The goal was to raise the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time. It also featured a silent auction, as well.
10 Mile Brewery contributed craft beer to the 2018 Dreams Gala and silent auction. Shannon Goins, one of the owners of 10 Mile Brewery, spoke about his team's involvement within the community.
“We have known Mike and Mary for a long time and been to many of their charities. When we started our business we wanted to give back to the community, so this is really important,” Goins said. “We think it’s all about the local-ness, as we are a tight knit community.”
“The people behind Hannah’s Hope took something that happened in their life and turned it into something for the community. It’s inspiring that parents can do that,” Sarah Buck, an attendee, expressed.
Mike Martinez, Executive Director and President of Hannah’s Hope, spoke about how he and Mary turned Hannah’s struggles into something that could leave an impact.
“When Hannah came into this world, she changed my life and flipped our world upside down, with tons of challenges. We thought, how do we spin this bad deck of cards for a kid who never had a choice in this world, other than to live her best life?” Mike said.
Mike and Mary strived to make Hannah’s life a positive one by creating an everlasting movement to keep her spirit and inspiring story alive.
“You all have that one love in your life and I ask you guys tonight, what is your one love? What’s the one thing that you're passionate about?” Mike asked the room. “Even though you’ve never met Hannah, consider that you have, now that you’re here.”
Hannah's life was cut short, but her memory and inspiration live on through thousands of lives that have been touched by being apart of Hannah’s Hope. For more information about the local nonprofit, please visit http://www.hannahshope.org/index.php.