Girl's Haven Stars Dinner

Girl's Haven Stars Dinner

Looking for a good cause to support or an exquisite evening on the town? Look no further. The Girls’ Haven STARS Dinner at the Event Centre on Oct. 24 offers both a night of elegance and the opportunity to donate to an organization that is benefiting some of Southeast Texas’ most vulnerable and promising youth.

“Haven” defined means a place of safety or refuge, the perfect description for Girls’ Haven, a wholesome and healthy harbor for girls and young women who have had to face a variety of difficult circumstances. The annual STARS Dinner gives area residents the chance to help Girls’ Haven provide these youth with the care they need to succeed.

“This is one of our major fundraisers,” Girls’ Haven Executive Director Alice Teeler says of the upcoming STARS Dinner. “It, of course, provides us with financial help to allow us to support girls who have no other place to live due to abuse, neglect, dysfunction and abandonment. The community is so generous in helping us care for these girls. Many of them have zero ability to pay, so fundraisers like this make it possible for us to do what we do.”

Currently, Girls’ Haven houses 22 youth who range in age from 8 to 18. Teeler says as a live-in facility, Girls’ Haven provides basic care for girls and provides educational services with the Ehrhart Charter School, psychological services, psychiatric services, counseling and, most importantly, “just a warm, safe and loving environment for the girls.” In addition to other services offered by the nonprofit, Girls’ Haven recently implemented a new program to assist its charges beyond high school graduation.

“We started a transitional living program in which the girls can stay here until they’re 21 as long as they are working or going to school or doing both of those part time,” Teeler proudly reports. “We can help them with budgeting, learning to use the transit system, résumés, getting into colleges, cooking – all the kinds of things your parents would teach you before you leave home.”

As for your night away from home, attendees of the STARS Dinner on Oct. 24 are in for an enchanting evening complete with delectable gourmet dining and delightful dancing, fine wines, a live and a silent auction, and first-rate music by the band J.A.G.

Live auction items include a Bad Boy ATV, a bird hunt complete with a shotgun, a cruise down the Sabine River on a yacht – cocktails included, a trip to Cozumel, a CHL training class with a handgun included, a delicious dinner party, a huge sports package including a limo ride and box seats to games of some surprise favorites, and more. The committee is still looking for the perfect puppy to place in the live auction, as well, and the lucky winner of the pooch will also receive six weeks of training from Perry Higginbotham of Perry’s K 9 Training Academy.

“He’s a dog whisperer,” says event co-chair Kathy Thomas, who says Higginbotham trained her beloved pet. “He’s a wonderful guy, such a nice guy.”

The silent auction will also include a variety of impressive items, says Teeler.

“We have everything from Christmas baskets to James Avery jewelry to gift certificates, spa packages, you name it,” she reports enthusiastically. “We had about 90 items last year. We’ll probably have the same number again this year.”

All items and packages available at the auctions were donated items from various individuals and entities.

“We are still taking reservations and donations for the silent and live auctions,” says Teeler.

The event is black-tie optional, so the STARS organizers suggest guests dress to impress. When attendees arrive, they can expect a night to remember.

“We’ll have appetizers, some time to look at the silent auction, then music,” Teeler explains. “We’ll sit down for dinner with gourmet food paired with a variety of complimentary fine wines. We’ll have dinner. Then, we’ll start the live auction. After the live auction, we’ll have some dancing for those who want to stay around and party for a little while. It’s a blast!”

Co-chair Cary Coffin agrees and says guests will be more than satisfied with what they receive in exchange for their donations.

“It is so much fun, and it’s for a good cause,” says Coffin.

“And the venue is so pretty,” says co-chair Thomas regarding the Event Centre in downtown Beaumont.

STARS Dinner committee member and Girls’ Haven founding board member Rose Blount says she is grateful for the support of the people and businesses in the community.

“Howell’s Furniture and Keller Williams are being honored,” says Blount.

According to Teeler, “Rose asked Howell’s for some help, maybe a discount on furniture when we were redecorating. They came in with Hooker Furniture and replaced 24 bedroom sets and basically three living areas full of leather furniture. Basically, Howell’s provided the leather furniture and Hooker provided bedroom sets.

“Then, Keller Williams came in and spent their Red Day here in May. Once a year, Keller Williams has a Red Day in May where they donate manpower, financial assistance and basically everything you need for the day. They bring in 100-plus people. This year they came in and completely revamped a dance exercise room for us, put a permanent fence around the pool and painted 24 bedroom sets, as well as put some lighting up.”

Blount says an anonymous philanthropist donated the chandeliers and light fixtures installed by the volunteers.

“We’ve been blessed this year, for sure,” Teeler said.

The STARS Dinner is Oct. 24 at the Event Centre at 700 Crockett St. in Beaumont, and starts at 7 p.m. Tickets to the event are $75 a piece, $150 per couple, or $500 for a table of eight. Sponsorships are also available starting at $1,000 and going up to $5,000, and any and all donations are always welcome, says Teeler. Contact Christine McNeely at (409) 832-6223 for ticket and donation information.

Teeler says she hopes the STARS Dinner will be great success, and she is grateful to Southeast Texans for their generosity.

“Without the community’s support, we would not be able to do what we do,” she said. “Thank you from Girls’ Haven to all of our volunteers and supporters.”

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