The 2019 Hope Gala

Our 2019 Hope Gala team was simply amazing!  They took all the lessons learned from 2018, plus some new ideas, and crafted an even that was elegant, fun, and flawless.  It’s hard to believe all of this was done by volunteers…

Leading the way was Wendy Jackson at Hot Coffee & a Keyboard.  When it came to project management, Wendy was always on top of everything – from planning, to printing, to advertising, to graphic design, she covered it all.

Lauri Miller also deserves special recognition as our volunteer coordinator.  She herded the cats, managed all the details, and led our team during execution of the Gala.

This year we partnered with Athens Technical College for the decor in the Rialto Room.  The faculty at Athens Tech embraced the idea that the students could run a live event as a part of their curriculum, and it was an amazing success.

  • Shelby Wharton led the team from the Hotel, Restaurant, and Event Management class, which also included Rae Merritt.

  • Kaytlen Page led the team from the Interior Design class, which included Rebecca Avery, Bella Goodwin, Hui Wang, Catherine Irwin, Karen Kirkpatrick, Vanessa Murray, Miriam Pena, Yaneth Robles Moreno, Kim Roche, and Stephanie Ross.  These ladies came up with the concepts for the theme for the Gala, and then did all the design work to take the concept to reality the night of the event.

  • We also want to thank Vanessa Murray and Tinsley Ballard for providing the violin music throughout the evening.

Chuck Hayes continued his command performance as our MC, and he nailed it again!  Take a look at the event photos!

We greatly appreciate all of our sponsors, who made this event such as success.  As you shop or look for services, please keep these donors in mind – it is our chance to “give back” to those that have also “given back” to our community.

Venue Sponsor

Food Sponsor


Entertainment provided by

Rachel O’Neal

Platinum Sponsors

David & Missy Lerch, compliments of Shell Oil 



OnlineAthens Athens Banner-Herald



Gold Sponsors

Dr Louis & Rebecca Kudon

Athens Animal Hospital

Athens Seed Lawn and Garden

FORTAY Roofing

James & Jessica Whitley

Sam Williamson Realtor/Auctioneer

Rich & Linda Crooks

Fife Plantation

(Jasper County, SC located within the Savannah Wildlife Refuge)


Silver Sponsors


Coca Cola of Athens

Grant Grissom

Rose Blaize & Family

The Rotary Club of Athens

Faye Fleming

Resource Partners – Certified Public Accountants


Suphred’s Cake Creations

Sunset Inn & Cottages, Treasure Island, FL

Pat & Cheri Cherry



Simply Clean Cleaning Services

SoundBoard Marketing Conference

Bronze Sponsors

Orkin Pest Control

Golden Pantry

Mother and daughter artists Mallory Moye & Rebecca Bundrick

Audio Icons

Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe

Athens Oconee Dentistry

Brandi & Joe Terry

Davis Tree Service

Heyward Allen Toyota

North Oconee Animal Hospital

Paul Myers

Trifecta Real Estate Advisors

Agora Vintage

The Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity at Lock Haven University

The Georgia Center

Barnstorm America

Jennings Mill Country Club

Melanie Morgan Jewelry

Bank South

Berry Coating, Inc


Lowe’s at Epps Bridge   

OrangeTheory Fitness

Yuva Medispa

Bradford Renaissance Portraits

Friends of Ashton Hope Keegan Foundation

The Pearl Girls

Misty Segars at Nationwide Insurance

Ashford Manor

The Boykin Team Real Estate

The Pine Food and Drink

Southern Brewing Company

Above Barre/Tilt Cycling

Harbin Lumber

Kathie Anderson


Noris Diaz at Farmers Insurance

5 Points Bottle Shop

Half-Shepherd Market

M3 Yoga

Sharon Frenchak

Arum Studios

Bill Gohdes

Dr. Bob Wicklein

Rise Nutrition Solutions

Bone Island Grill

Creature Comforts Brewing Company

Lindsey’s Culinary Market

HiLo Bar

Em’s Kitchen

Deborah Manoll

Chops & Hops

Seamon Whiteside & Associates Surveying, LLC

The B-52s

Follett Bookstore

Fox’s Pizza Den

Republic Salon

University Spirit

Perimeter Roofing

Walton EMC

Advanced Massage Therapies

The Falls Restaurant

Andrea Wellnitz

State Botanical Garden of GA

Edward Panetta

Jazzercise Watkinsville

Elite Pet Sitting

Kris Hanna

Bruce Babcock



Normal Books

Ike & Jane Cafe and Bakery

Tito’s Vodka

Paul Myers

Leslie McElhannon at Mary Kay

Jessica Wheatley at Thirty-One Gifts

Angela VerStraete at Arbonne

The Stone Store

Saucehouse Barbeque, Athens

Bone-A-Fide Dog Training

Pawtery (Kathie Anderson)

The Pine Food & Drink

The Classic Center

Jittery Joe’s

The Home Depot

The Winthrop Foundation

Randall Bramblett

Lisa Davis

Savannah Smith

Elaine Hynes

Sycamore Veterinary Services

Divine Salon

Journey Juice




Mark your calendars

“The Hope Gala” is planned for Jan 25th, 2020.  This is The Foundation’s premier annual event.  We will share heavy hors d’oeuvres, good music, and good friends at the Rialto Room (donated by Hotel Indigo).  Dress is upscale business casual, with ties discouraged.

Let’s celebrate Ashton’s passion for life, and raise money to help fulfill her passion for educating women in our local community.  All proceeds from the event will stay 100% local and will go toward helping women in the local area become stronger, more productive members of the community.

Stay tuned for additional details, and please contact us if you can volunteer! or (660) 233-2512.


Rachel O’Neal was our headliner in 2019, and she was spectacular.  If you get a chance to see her at one of Athens’ local venues, give yourself a treat and go – you’re guaranteed to enjoy the show.  

Rachel O’Neal has come into her own as an established songwriter and solo performer in Athens, GA. Her music deftly navigates her varied influences, including indie-rock, jazz, and southern Americana. Her semi-autobiographical lyrics touch on love, loss, hope, freedom and inner strength, and it is in this swirl that her soulful voice guides you through to the message.