Gala to raise funds for hurricane victims

Published 5:59 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Jose and Maria are still fighting to put their lives back together after the hurricanes destroyed their homes, and some local college students are determined to help.

On Saturday, LaGrange College’s Servant Scholars will host a gala to raise funds for victims of the hurricanes that recently swept through the southeast.

“It is called the Olive Branch Gala because after the floods in the Bible, the dove came with the olive branch, so that is the idea that we are putting forth,” said Leigh Anne Hamlin, a junior cohort with the servant scholars program. “After all of this tragedy, there is still hope.

That hope and community support were what inspired the student scholars to host the benefit gala.

“I think tragedy has really struck our world this past year, and it has been a very difficult year for a lot of different reasons on a lot of different people,” said Eli Grant, another servant scholar. “I think that any sort of effort to unite the community and especially, to build up the world we live in is a valiant effort. That was our goal, to actually build a strong since of community here in LaGrange, and that can carry on to benefit those effected by goings on in our world.”

This will be one of the largest fundraisers that the group has sponsored.

“We realized that because of the massive scale of these hurricanes, we wanted to do something a little bit bigger than just a bake sale on the plaza or something, so we bounced ideas around, and we came up with a gala,” Hamlin said.

All benefits raised by the event will go to the Red Cross’ Hurricane Relief Fund, which is providing ongoing support to those impacted by the hurricanes.

“People in Houston still have their houses underwater,” Hamlin said.

“It is still a very, very prevalent issue, and so we are stepping up. It is a little later, but it is still absolutely necessary.”

The event will feature a silent auction, desserts by Aramark and entertainment by local musical talent.

“We are having the LaGrange College Chamber Choir and different musical theater students perform as background music,” Hamlin said. “We have a kid from the Montessori school, which is one of the service sites of our servant scholars, and his name is Jack, and he is performing two piano pieces. We are really excited about it. Then, we have Angela Hutchins who is coming to do some acoustic pieces as well.”

The Olive Branch Gala will take place at the West Side Recital Hall at LaGrange College on Nov. 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.

To purchase tickets or donate, contact Eli Grant at or call (706) 201-7266.