It was a full house for The Hearth’s Holiday Fundraiser. Over $2000 was raised for The Hearth Community. After a reception with mulled wine, hot cider, winter ale and home baked goods (thank you Jill Yaconelli), the evening opened with Lisa Spencer, Karen Wennlund, and Isabel Enns singing the very funny “The Christians and the Pagans.” Then Jennifer Margulis told a story of mishaps, reunions, and awakenings as she hauled her family to Niger after winning a Fulbright. Elementary school teacher Matt Damon stepped up next to share on of The Hearth’s greatest hits–the adventures and lessons of growing up in Gardner, Mass. Our third teller, Tonya Graham, told a deeply heartfelt story of how she fell in love and adopted seven Haitian children as a single woman. Tonya had one of the best closing lines ever: “People ask me why I decided to adopt 7 children as a single woman. The truth is I never planned to adopt children….I just fell in love. And when you fall in love with someone, if you can, you try and bring them home.”

The second half of the event began with Lisa Spencer singing “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon” followed by Angela Decker reading a poem “Salmon Crossing” from her new book Splendid Catastrophe (pre-order you copy now). Mark Yaconelli then told three stories to illustrate the vision (Telling, Listening, Acting) for the new Hearth Community. Our final song was by Wendi Stanek who sang Patty Griffin’s Coming Home to Me. Mark Yaconelli ended the night by encouraging people to commit to claiming this community as home by committing to one act of service in the coming year.

We had a terrific crew of volunteers (Thank you Will Sherman, Maura Hayes, Joanna Niemann, Michael Niemann, Patty Ferrell, Mark DiRienzo, Owen DiRienzo, Ben Bellinson, Jill Yaconelli, Noah Yaconelli, Joseph and Grace Yaconelli, Wendi Stanek, Duane Whitcomb and others who just jumped in and helped when needed)

THERE ARE ONLY 7 DAYS LEFT IN OUR INDIEGOGO FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN. If you can, please make a donation right here…and/or sign up as a volunteer and help us with publicity, events, and communication. You sign up to volunteer by emailing Mark at myaconelli@cst.edu.

To stay updated make sure you “like” us on facebook and send your email address to Mark Yaconelli at myaconelli@cst.edu to receive announcements and a special copy of one of our holiday stories from our last event.