Gala raises $70K for Hi-Hope Center

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Local nonprofit Hi-Hope Center raised $70,000 with the return of its annual gala.

The event returned last week after a hiatus, drawing more than 300 attendees to enjoy Vegas-style entertainment and bid on more than 200 items in a silent auction.

Former Falcons defensive end Chuck Smith served as honorary chair for the event, while co-chairs Angie Garland of Suwanee and Karen Hill of Braselton led a group of volunteers to plan the event, which included a signature wine toss and HOPE boxes.

The money will help the nonprofit provide services to developmentally disabled adults, including community access day services, activities in health and welness, computers, art, music and life skills, supported employment services and community outings that help clients practice independence.

In a press release, Hi-Hope officials congratulated raffle winners Alice Cunningham and Stephen Hill, who won a two-night stay in a North Carolina chalet and a flat screen TV.