Nearly 200 Holy Ground supporters packed the Kravis Center’s Cohen Pavilion on Sunday, January 21st for the annual “A Shower for Shelter” luncheon and auction. Broadway star Avery Sommers provided entertainment for the event which raised more than $50,000 to provide a Home and Hope for homeless, pregnant or parenting young women and their children in Palm Beach County.
Candace, one of the young mothers at Holy Ground, opened the event with a vocal performance of “Hero” by Mariah Carey. Alondra, another young mother at Holy Ground, offered a prayer of thanks.
During the event, attendees who donated to Holy Ground’s capital campaign were invited to stack a “brick” to symbolize their participation in the renovation of the apartment complex recently purchased by for Holy Ground for their young families.
The entire complex will be named in tribute to the Stockard family. Father Seamus Murtagh, one of the event’s honorees, spoke passionately to the audience after learning that the heart of the complex, the community suite, will be named after him.
Major capital campaign supporters include The Mary Alice Fortin Foundation, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Cathleen McFarlane Foundation, Inc., Extraordinary Charities, the J.C. Foundation, and the Quantum Foundation.
Honorary chairs were Lesly Smith and Danielle Hickox Moore. Honorary committee members were Loretta Caudill, Shannon Hawkins, Henry and Suzanne Herzing, Sunni Johnson and Beverlee Miller Raymond. Event chairpersons were Lonnie Martens and Janice Morey.
Based in Palm Beach County, Holy Ground PBC 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 trained adult female mentors. While in the program, the young mothers work part-time and contribute part of their income toward rent and utilities. The goal of Holy Ground’s program is to teach their young women to be self-sufficient, healthy, and productive members of the community.
“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 PBC. “Our organization is one of the few programs in the area to provide services for young women who have already given birth.”
According to the 2016 report from the Florida Department of Health, there were 630 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 and have developmental issues.