For its 2012 Celebration of HOPE dinner, a mom donated a large basket filled with toys to its silent auction in memory of her 6-year-old son, “Motorcycle Mikey.” He died after a 17 month battle with cancer. Mikey’s Mom and 7-year-old brother Parker came to HOPE for one-on-one counseling and attended our support groups.
To quote his mom: “Parker and Michael were 16 months apart and so much more than brothers … they were best friends. HOPE For Bereaved gave Parker and our family that — HOPE. We will be eternally grateful to this amazing organization and the truly dedicated and loving people that volunteer to help those of us coping with the death of our child. HOPE has been a life jacket in the worst storm of our life.”
On Friday, Nov. 1, HOPE For Bereaved will hold its annual Celebration of HOPE dinner at the Nicholas J. Pirro OnCenter Ballroom. This year, the not-for-profit will be celebrating its 35th anniversary and honoring HOPE’s founder Therese Schoeneck, whose mission is and always has been to provide support, resources and hope for grieving children, adults and families. Over the years, the organization has grown to include training, consultation and resources for those who wish to help the bereaved.
The Nov. 1 HOPE themed-event is best illustrated by a painting that hangs on a wall at the office headquarters on Onondaga Boulevard in Syracuse. A cocoon sits empty as a beautiful butterfly soars from its former dwelling. A rainbow appears in the distance. The depiction, by HOPE’s friend and artist Carol Peltier, is representative of the journey from grief to hope; a message that life will get better.
“You’ll never be the same, but you’ll come to a good, new normal,” Therese says to all who walk through HOPE’s doors. The painting can be found on all printed Celebration materials this year.