Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
On November 17, hearststudios in Camden was hopping with music, disco lights and fabulous food as more than 60 community members gathered to dance the night away in the name of a good cause. The occasion was the first ever Mamas for Mamas Ladies’ Night Out, a fundraiser for Wayfinder Schools’ Passages Program for teen parents.
Passages, founded in 1994, helps 45 young parents throughout seven counties in Maine work toward their high school diploma. Each student receives individualized instruction in their own homes, thereby eliminating the need to secure daily transportation and childcare in order to attend school. Students complete course work in 24 core skill areas related to academics, parenting and life skills. They focus on everything from math, science, social studies and language arts to child development, budgeting and nutrition. Students also participate in group workshops and community service projects, and complete an intensive “passage”, or graduation project that addresses a particular challenge or goal for each student.
Earlier this year, Heather Hearst, board member of Wayfinder Schools, started brainstorming new ways to support the Passages Program. Knowing that many program participants are in need of baby supplies, she conceived of Mamas for Mamas, a combination baby shower/ ladies night out, to which each guest would bring a baby gift for a young family.
The result was spectacular. Weeks before the event, donations started coming in, and as more and more guests arrived on the big night, the newly renovated hearststudios began filling with baby clothes, diapers, Sippy cups, baby books, strollers, car seats and more. One guest brought a child-sized table and chairs, others brought toys, diaper bags and much needed winter gear.
Watching the guests arrive, Passages Program Director, Martha Kempe said, “This is amazing! To see so many people come out in support of these young families, it reminds you what an incredible community we live in.”
In the coming weeks, Kempe and the Passages teachers will distribute the gifts to their students, spreading holiday cheer as they go. Meanwhile, Hearst and Wayfinder Schools’ staff and board members had high praise for the many volunteers and supporters who made this event possible. Hearst’s mothers group, the Hot Mamas, took the lead on organizing the event, and one of the Hot Mamas organized a diaper drive through her place of work. Each of the Mamas brought food for the potluck, including soups, salad, bread and wine. Hearst’s husband, Jason, set up the sound system and disco lights, while Heather took the lead in organizing food, decorations and other event details.
Anneli Skaar of Skaar Design designed a delightful invitation and guest book, Chocolatier Blue donated gorgeous chocolates, and Beauty Mark Spa donated a luxurious spa package as a raffle item. Amy Wilton took photographs, and each participant donated to the Passages scholarship and technology funds.
The whole event raised more than $3,000 for the Passages Program, and hundreds of baby gifts. Wayfinder Schools extend their sincere thanks to all who participated in making the night such an overwhelming success. Head of Schools Dr. Dorothy Foote said, “We simply couldn’t do it without the support of our community and we are so grateful to everyone who supported this wonderful event.”
Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
There’s only one place to be this Thursday night: Hearst Studios in Camden. The occasion is the first ever Mamas for Mamas Ladies’ Night Out, to support Wayfinder Schools’ Passages Program for teen parents. On tap are the music of DJ Carly, fabulous food and libations, the delectable chocolates of Chocolatier Blue, and even the chance to win a full spa package from Beauty Mark Spa.
This is a “don’t miss” event, and best of all, it will support young mothers in our community who are working toward their high school diplomas. The Passages Program was founded in 1994, and serves 45 young parents throughout the Midcoast (and beyond) who are working toward high school completion while raising their young children. Many of these parents are in need of baby supplies, and each guest is asked to bring a new, unwrapped baby item for young families in our community.
Suggested donations include new blankets, hats, mittens, sippy cups, push toys, children’s books, diaper wipes, burp cloths, strollers, infant car seats, high chairs and more. Cash donations are also encouraged, and will be used for additional supplies, and scholarship funds.
Mamas for Mamas is a production of Heather Hearst, Diana Castle, The Hot Mamas, and Hearst Studios, with additional support from Chocolatier Blue, DJ Carly, Beauty Mark Spa, and Anneli Skaar of Skaar Design. Mamas for Mamas will be held from 6-9 pm, and guests are asked to make a $10 donation at the door. For more information about this event call 236-3000, ex. 110.