The 11th Annual Crisis Pregnancy Outreach Fundraising Gala was a huge success. It felt like a scene from “FROZEN” with the huge windows revealing a winter wonderland as a backdrop for the silent auction. The theme was “Celebrate Life” and featured family photos in reclaimed wood frames to celebrate our rich family heritage. Hundreds arrived dressed to the nines with hearts eager to hear about the next chapter of CPO. The auction items were vast this year with everything from Glacier Chocolates, to a Thunder Basketball experience, car detailing from Nelson Mazda, jewelry from J.David, to a Grand Lake House. The silent auction is always a highlight of this gala!
The food was amazing, provided by Go West Catering and featured savory chicken, vegetable lasagna, and brisket with veggies and garlic mashed potatoes. The tables were adorned with some of our best flower arrangements yet, containing an usual mix of purple orchids, winter cabbage, white roses and artichokes. Each place setting was wrapped in a lilac napkin shrouding an oversized printed program, topped with a logo wrapped mason jar dessert of chocolate or red velvet cake.
However, the event design and food paled in comparison to the journey the entire house encountered in some of CPO’s best storytelling to date.
It began with founder Cheryl Bauman telling the WHY behind CPO. Honorary Emcee, Karen Larsen moved everyone with her compassionate retelling of CPO’s top ten 2014 accomplishments, which included:
- Highest funds ever raised at the 2014 Gala
- 30% increase in attendance of the Waiting Families Workshops
- Fully funded new Honda Odyssey for ministry use
- Well-attended SuperHero 5K run
- 516 hours of counseling donated to women in need
- 20 completed adoptions over 3 states.
Hearts melted over nine-year-old Ziona Webb’s retelling of her adoption story just before she sang a duet with a CPO birth mother, Dionne White. Together they performed “Opportunity” from the recent film “Annie.”
What came next, none could have prepared for: “Jackie’s Journey.” CPO’s corporate sponsor chair and mother of four adopted children opened the window of her heart in a 9 minute video chronicling her journey through loss of children through failed pregnancies and adoptions and an infant death. Her story had one of the most compelling endings — and one only God Himself could have written. Won’t spoil the ending: see it here.
Friend of CPO, Co-Event Chair and CEO of Hampton Creative, Johnie Hampton, closed out the formal program with a heart-felt challenge to use personal influence to spread the CPO story. He also asked for a monthly commitment to CPO so that the organization is not so financially dependent on large events like this gala (which can be threatened by weather).
Before moving into the live auction, a winner was drawn from the NEW “Best of the Best” tickets sold. Earlier in the evening CPO sold 100 tickets for $100, with the winner getting their pick of any live auction item. Congrats to that winner who picked the Chicago Bears Experience!
The event closed with the traditional live auction let by Tulsa’s renowned charity auctioneer, Jay Litchfield. Highest bids went to the Pagosa House in Colorado and orthodontic braces!
It was truly a magical experience and one that reminded us once again of how much the ministry of CPO is needed in our city!
Photography Courtesy of Alex Gelmers, Hampton Creative & Alaina Butler, Inspired Life Photos