Hope Hall gala to celebrate local heroes


Hope Hall School will host its annual Toast for Hope Gala as a hybrid event on Oct. 9.  

This year’s theme is “Hope Heroes,” in recognition and celebration of the many individuals who go above and beyond their normal lives and careers and are heroes within the community. 

Hope Hall will honor Michael Mendoza, public health commissioner for Monroe County, with the annual Robert W. August Inspiring Hope Award for the significant role he has played during the pandemic. Mendoza continues to advise and work with Hope Hall to help ensure the ongoing safety and health of students, faculty and staff. 

Dr. Michael Mendoza.

The gala, which will take place at Locust Hill Country Club with a limited capacity, will include a live auction, online auction, Call from the Heart initiative and ceremony, all of which will be livestreamed. Actor, comedian, singer and playwright Dresden Engle, founder and executive director of Dresden PR, will emcee the program. 

“There’s a saying by Superman that ‘There is a superhero in all of us, we just need the courage to put on the cape,’” said Sister Diana Dolce, founder and executive director of Hope Hall. “Over the past 18 months, there have been so many individuals who have taken up the mantle of courage to become everyday heroes. This year, it seemed the perfect time to celebrate the heroes among us, from first responders and medical teams to front line staff and teachers. And let us not forget our very own students who experience learning challenges every day, and who demonstrate more courage and perseverance than is required of most superheroes.” 

Virtual access tickets to the gala, which include early access to the online auction, are available for $50 at hopehall.org. Party packs include décor items and photo props for $25. 

A new feature of this year’s gala is the Everyday Hero Tribute. For $25, community members can recognize individuals or groups of people who made a significant difference in their lives. Every individual or group being honored will receive an Everyday Hero Certificate, and will appear on the screen at the in-person gala and virtual celebration.