Community Spotlight: Afternoon Tea For Hope Raises Over $15,000
It’s tea time, and that means time to celebrate woman in the Brainerd Lakes as colorful, flowery and unique hats filled the room.
“I actually have a hat collection and I love all things to do with tea, hats and Victorian times,” said attendee Debra Sauer.
Attendees enjoyed a variety of sweets, treats and (of course) tea that was served by members of the Brainerd Fire Department. For some, it was a time for friendship.
“Something to do together as girlfriends,” said attendee Paulette Hillukka.
While for others, they got to sit around the table with family.
“It’s just a fun way for grandmas, moms and daughters to get together,” said attendee Jane Peterson.
As for the younger crowd…it was their first time trying some tea.
“I don’t think I really like tea…” said a 9-year-old attendee.
About 160 people gathered for afternoon tea all for a cause far bigger than just a cup of tea.
“The Side By Side program matches woman in the community to women who are struggling to leave poverty and really just need support and relationships to do that,” said Kassie Heisserer, Bridges of Hope Executive Director.
With over $15,000 raised at the event, the Side By Side program is funded for the rest of the year.
“I love the support that we can give each other and encourage and love on each other and really, we need each other,” said Peterson, who is also a mentor for the program.
It’s a local program that benefits the mentor and the mentee.
“It’s been my life saving because of the fact that finally I can be around woman who understand, who can comprehend what I’ve been going through, who can support me and give me that encouragement that I can keep going,” said mentee Kimberly Evans.
And with a record setting fundraising amount, the Side By Side program will continue to be a strong impact in the Brainerd Lakes Area.
“Bridges of Hope is doing great work in the community, and I really believe in what they’re doing and it is needed,” said attendee Aleisha Stephens. “If I can be a small part of what they are doing, then I am honored.”