Casa de Esperanza Kickoff

Stories of hope inspire guests at Casa de Esperanza gala kickoff party

Stories of hope inspire guests at Casa de Esperanza gala kickoff party

Casa de Esperanza kickoff party Michael and Lucia Cordua
Michael Cordua, Lucia Cordua. Photo by Anthony Hynes
Casa de Esperanza kickoff party Sam Dodson, Marsha Dodson, Ed Smith, Flo McGee
Sam Dodson, Marsha Dodson, Ed Smith, Flo McGee. Photo by Anthony Hynes
Casa de Esperanza kickoff party cheese tray
Guests sampled a large cheese tray at the Casa de Esperanza gala kickoff party. Photo by Anthony Hynes
Casa de Esperanza kickoff party Holly Brennan, John Brennan
Holly Brennan, John Brennan. Photo by Anthony Hynes
Casa de Esperanza kickoff Ginger Daily, Eleanor Magee, April McGee
Ginger Daily, Eleanor Magee, April McGee. Photo by Anthony Hynes
Casa de Esperanza kickoff party Dixie and Jeff Green
Dixie Green, Jeff Green. Photo by Anthony Hynes
Casa de Esperanza kickoff Lynne Morris, Jay Rodgers
Lynne Morris, Jay Rodgers. Photo by Anthony Hynes
Casa de Esperanza kickoff party Eleanor and Fred Magee
Eleanor Magee, Fred Magee. Photo by Anthony Hynes
Casa de Esperanza kickoff party, Colleen McLaughlin, Katie Hwu, Jay Rodgers
Colleen McLaughlin, Katie Hwu, Jay Rodgers. Photo by Anthony Hynes
Casa de Esperanza kickoff party Michael and Lucia Cordua
Casa de Esperanza kickoff party Sam Dodson, Marsha Dodson, Ed Smith, Flo McGee
Casa de Esperanza kickoff party cheese tray
Casa de Esperanza kickoff party Holly Brennan, John Brennan
Casa de Esperanza kickoff Ginger Daily, Eleanor Magee, April McGee
Casa de Esperanza kickoff party Dixie and Jeff Green
Casa de Esperanza kickoff Lynne Morris, Jay Rodgers
Casa de Esperanza kickoff party Eleanor and Fred Magee
Casa de Esperanza kickoff party, Colleen McLaughlin, Katie Hwu, Jay Rodgers

What: 28th Annual Casa de Esperanza Building Hope for Children Gala kickoff party.

Where: Home of Wade Upton.

The scoop: More than 90 guests gathered to build buzz around the non-profit's gala, slated for April 23, 1017 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. ​They mingled while enjoying appetizers from Cordúa Catering, including a three-foot-long cheese tray with 20 varieties that almost ran the length of the dining room table.

Casa de Esperanza co-founder Kathy Foster shared a special story of how she founded the non-profit 35 years ago with $500; it now cares for more than 6,000 families and children. Casa de Esperanza, winner of the 2015 CultureMap Charity Challenge, provides a safe place for children in crisis due to abuse, neglect or the effects of HIV.

Colleen McLaughlin brought the crowd to tears when she spoke about the joy her special-needs adopted daughter has brought her. The daughter's teacher was so moved by the little girl's story that she and her husband are becoming foster parents at Casa.

And Casa development officer Katie Griffin shared a story of one boy she has cared for and how well he's doing  after being adopted by a great family.

Who: Flo McGee, April McGee, Ed Smith, Frances and Tim Arnoult, Lucia and Michael Cordúa, George and Bonner Ball, Ginger and Jayar Daily, Mary and Mike Espinosa, Barb and Dan Molinaro, Kristen and Michael Weekley, Sam and Marsha Dodson, Holly and John Brennan, Dixie and Jeff Green, Eleanor and Fred Magee, Lynne Morris, Jay Rodgers, Colleen McLaughlin, and Katie Hwu.