2010 Spirit of Hope Celebrity Concert & Awards Gala a Smashing Success

“This is the VERY BEST dinner I have attended”… “It was a beautiful evening”… “Great spirit, great program”… “The music, emcees, and speakers - everything was great!”… “Fancy, yet comfortable!” …“Best year ever!!!!!!”…“Overall, a wonderful evening - can't wait until next year!”

These are only a few of the hundreds of wonderful comments heard on the night of and in the days since our Spirit of Hope Celebrity Concert & Awards Gala. Changing the format of the event and moving from Friday to Saturday night was a risk that paid off handsomely. To date, over $110,000 was raised from this event for the University as a result. The new name of the event, Spirit of Hope, was truly shown throughout the entire evening. By all accounts, the event was a big hit among guests and honorees alike. From the lively receptions and elegant food to the engaging program, there was a sophisticated yet comfortable feel to the event held in the beautifully appointed Grand Ballroom at the Disneyland Hotel.

The variety of music was wonderful, with a taste of something for everyone. The New Moon Flyers with Dave Scott provided incredibly entertaining music made popular by Frank Sinatra during the meal, inspiring one young-at-heart couple to spontaneously create their own dance floor! Later in the evening, the classically trained Jung Trio wowed the crowd with their musicality, and HIU alum Tyrone Wells brought the house down with a fantastic and engaging set from his current Songs and Stories tour. Dr. Joseph Cho, Chairman of the HIU Music Department, led a triumphant ensemble performance of “My Tribute” in which Cho and Wells sang a duo while the Jung Trio accompanied to close the night.

The big award of the night, the Spirit of Hope Award, was presented to the Heirloom Shoppe. Run completely by volunteers, this unassuming little Fullerton thrift shop was started by the Pacific Christian Women’s Association back in 1984 and has as its sole mission to provide funding for scholarships and campus projects at HIU. Heirloom Shoppe has since donated nearly $800,000 towards the University while providing reasonably priced goods to the community.

In addition to the annual Spirit of Hope Award, two new award categories were created for the event. The Supporting Church Award recognized the top 3 supporting churches: University Christian Church, Los Angeles, CA; Central Christian Church of the East Valley, Mesa/Gilbert, AZ; First Christian Church Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach, CA. These three churches have donated more than $300,000 to HIU over the past three years. The Philanthropic Award recognized two charitable foundations that have funded various scholarships and campus projects at HIU over the years: James L. Stamps Foundation, with grants totaling nearly $870,000 to HIU since 1994; and the Hugh & Hazel Darling Foundation, with grants totaling nearly $1.4 million to HIU since 1994.

A very powerful impact was made regarding the role the University plays in so many lives around the world, demonstrating servant leadership and ministering both within and outside of the HIU community. Student testimonies from Hosanna Wong and Jessica Ruf, along with Dr. Derry's very personal and professional speech really captured who we are as a university, and made a clear case for remaining in and developing our current location in Fullerton while simultaneously expanding and capitalizing on new opportunities. All in all, it was the kind of evening that really made you feel proud to be associated with HIU and want to tell all of your friends about this gem of a university.


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