We established the Ashton Hope Keegan Foundation on December 15th, 2016, four months after losing Ashton in an auto accident. Her passion for educating women who had been left behind is what drives us every day. Receiving our 501(c)3 status was the first step in creating a lasting legacy around this passion.
We became fully financially self-supporting in 2018 with the success of our first two major fundraisers – The Hope Gala in January, and a tap-takeover Watermelon Party with Southern Brewing Company in August. Those funding sources allowed us to start giving scholarships and grants to women for their GEDs and technical training. In January, 2019, we held our second annual Hope Gala, which showed a 60% increase in revenue compared with the inaugural Hope Gala. This significant spike in revenue allowed us to both double the number of scholarships (from 15 in 2018, to 30 in 2019), and also double the size of each scholarship to $1,000.
Planning is now underway for the Third Annual Hope Gala, to be held in January 2020. We are tracking ahead of last year’s pace in both sponsorships and donations, and expect we will be able to increase our scholarships and grants again in 2020.
We succeeded far faster then we’d ever envisioned would be possible, and have since received several significant awards that validated our efforts.
In 2018, Athens Technical College named us their Donor of the Year.
In October, 2019, we were recognized by the Technical College Foundation Association of Georgia with their Distinguished Service Award.
In addition, Kim Keegan has been honored as a finalist for the prestigious ATHENA Award by the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce. We anxiously await the award in February, 2020!