More than 100 people gathered at Costa Palm Beach recently for Holy Ground’s cocktail party to kick off their capital campaign, “Building a Home and Hope.” A live band serenaded the large crowd while guests enjoyed a hummus bar with a delicious sampling of Mediterranean cuisine. Donors generously provided various items from sunglasses to wine for an auction, which was popular among the guests.
“The event was beyond our committee’s expectations,” said Jan Kranich, vice-president of Holy Ground Shelter’s board of directors. “We loved that friends brought friends and we hosted more than 100 people to learn more about our work and this exciting project.”
Guests at the Costa event included Laurel Baker, Sascha Bennemann, Inge Bowdre, Stanton Collemer, Susan Dyer, Sherry Frankel, Arlette Gordon, Robert Harvey, Marley Herring, Debra Jenks, Deborah and Lawrence Karlson, Monique McCall, Donna McLoughlin, Anita Mitchell, Penny Murphy, Virginia Oatley, Beverlee Miller Raymond, co-chair Mary Rogan, David Sarama, Beth and Dean Vegosen, Skira Watson and Leslie Weaver.
Based in West Palm Beach, Holy Ground Shelter provides a home and hope to homeless pregnant and parenting young women and their children. Through this long-term and multi-faceted program, young mothers learn responsible living, parenting, and essential life skills, while they complete high school and transition to college or vocational school, always with the on-going support and guidance of a trained adult female mentor. While in the program, the girls work part-time and contribute part of their income toward rent and utilities. The goal of Holy Ground’s program is to teach these young women to be self-sufficient, healthy, and productive members of the community.
With a campaign goal of nearly $1 million, funds raised from the capital campaign will be used to purchase and renovate an apartment complex to expand the organization’s mission in Palm Beach County. The group has raised more than half of the funds to meet its campaign goal and will continue their fundraising to complete renovations on the building and expand programming once their campaign goal is met.
“The need for our services is urgent as teen pregnancy continues to be an ever-pressing problem in Palm Beach County,” said Donna McLoughlin, president of Holy Ground Shelter. “We are one of the only local organizations which provides for parenting young mothers and it is important work. Some of our ladies have been living in their cars prior to coming to us.”
According to the latest statistics from the Florida Department of Health, there were 672 live births to girls under the age of 19 in Palm Beach County and approximately a quarter of these young mothers will have a second baby within 2 years.
Statistics from the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County indicate teen mothers are more likely to live in poverty, and less than half of all teen moms will ever graduate high school. Daughters born to teen moms are more likely to become teen mothers themselves, while a son is twice as likely to serve time in prison. Children of teen mothers are also more likely to be born prematurely.
The next event for Holy Ground Shelter is the 7th annual luncheon at the Kravis Center on January 21. Entertainer Avery Sommers will perform. For more information on the upcoming event or on Holy Ground Shelter’s capital campaign, please visit www.holygroundpbc.org. or email [email protected].