Sunday, December 17th, 2017

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Hopewell “Summer Solstice”

 

 

Ingredients for a terrific summer party: plenty of friends, a warm, breezy evening, lovely surroundings, good music, good food, and a great cause. This was the setting for Summer Solstice to benefit Hopewell, a residential therapeutic farm community for adults with serious mental illness.

Served with champagne or a cucumber-infused ‘mocktail,’ guests mingled between several out buildings and breezeways on the private property of Brian and Gretchen Colleran. Music from Hopewell musicians, featuring Jim and Beth Miller of the JiMiller Band floated throughout out the grounds. Silent auction items from crystal and china to furniture and artwork were on display, and guests could bid from cell phones on MyBidPal.

A white tent shielded guests from the ultra-warm June evening. Marigold Catering provided dinner. Further out on the grounds, an appealing high-ceilinged structure served as a “man barn” offering premium liquors and a private patio.

During the event, the founder of Hopewell, Clara Rankin, was treated to “Happy Birthday” first, sung in Italian a cappella by local opera singer Christopher Aldrich, and then sung (yes, in English) by the sellout crowd of more than 500 guests in honor of her 100th birthday, which was in May. Also warmly recognized were Sally and Sandy Cutler for their support of Hopewell in honor of their son, David. After dinner, actress Terry Piteo Trela, shared the poignant story of her daughter’s battle with mental illness, and finally receiving the help and professional support she needed by living at Hopewell.

The all-outdoor setting was fitting, as Hopewell, in Mesopotamia, is a 300-acre working farm that aims to transform the lives of adults with mental illness. Hopewell is Ohio’s only such facility, and one of only a handful in the country. Through structured scheduling, therapy, wholesome work and nutritious meals, adult residents orient themselves to cope with their illness and successfully return to mainstream society. Currently clients from 22 states live at Hopewell. This was the organization’s 17th annual benefit.

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY RITA KUEBER

 

 

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