The 5th annual Expressions of Hope gala to celebrate November Epilepsy Awareness Month was a smashing success!! Over $53,000 was raised through sponsorships and the 370 guests in attendance. Not only is that a measurable increase from the amounts raised in years past, but we were thrilled in a sizable increase in attendance as well. The event was held on Friday, November 14, 2014 at the Mellwood Arts Center and this year’s theme was The Great Gatsby. Guests arrived dressed in their 1920s finest and were treated to an array of spectacular auction items, appetizers from The Bakery at Sullivan University, a cigar and bourbon bar, bourbon balls by Art Edibles, a scrumptious buffet dinner prepared by Texas Roadhouse, an open bar by Diageo, and delicious desserts by Plehn’s Bakery and K&J Sweet Desserts, all while enjoying the festive entertainment of the Utility Brothers. Guests also took delight in having their photo made using different and fun props provided by Clear Choice Photo Booth, and bought chances to play Deal or No Deal and a spin on the Wheel of Chance.
On a more somber note, Cortney Sherrell-Johnson gave a moving testimonial about her mother, Peggy Sherrell, who hid in the shadows of epilepsy. It was not until attending the Walk Around Kentucky for Epilepsy that she realized she was not alone in this journey. Unfortunately, Peggy lost her life unexpectedly to SUDEP five-years ago. After suffering this tragic loss, Peggy’s family decided to do something to help others with epilepsy and so they created the Peggy Sherrell Memorial Golf Scramble and Peggy Sherrell Memorial Scholarship program. In just this short period of time they have raised over $70,000 to benefit the Foundation and support the Peggy Sherrell Memorial Scholarship program. These touching words were followed by Cortney presenting the Foundation’s executive director, Deb McGrath, with a check totaling $16,000 raised from this year’s memorial golf event. The Foundation could not be more honored.
The Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana would like to thank all who planned, sponsored, donated auction items, attended, and/or volunteered to work at the 2014 Expressions of Hope. We would like to give a heartfelt thank you to Kosair Charities for giving a $10,000 match to our appeal. Special thanks to our Emcee Angie Fenton, Co-Chairs: Lisa Wallace, Beth O’Daniel, and Linda O’Bryan; and committee members: Julie Davis, Marti Holnagel, Liz Sapata, Dee Shaughnessy, Chris Thomas, and the Foundation’s events manager Gary Zortman for their commitment to making this year’s Expressions of Hope the best and biggest bash yet! A special thank you to our photographers: Andrew McMurtrie & David Mobley