Starlit dinner funds Hope Afield projects

Published 7:00 am Sunday, October 8, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

In the spirit of giving, Greenville residents filled the pavilion under a starry night at Hope Afield’s annual fundraiser dinner on Oct. 3. The evening was a success as every table was full and large donations were made for Blessings Farm. 

Guests enjoyed a southern-style meal catered by Jewel Conway, and the fundraiser’s speaker, Ralph Stokes, who was one of the first African American athletes at the University of Alabama to play football under Coach Bear Bryant. 

Stokes said he was happy to be a part of the fundraiser and shared at the end of the dinner that he, along with another friend, will be donating $10,000 to Hope Afield. He added that if it makes a difference in just one life, it will be worth it. 

Email newsletter signup

“The lessons you can learn in a classroom are great, but the lessons taught by just being in nature are fantastic,” Stokes said. “The two things that I think are important for these kids to learn are that you have to learn to respect the people you live and work with, and that the most important thing in life is building the right relationships.”

Ken Kilpatrick, founder of Hope Afield, said the first project that will take place on Blessings Farm will be an educational nature trail for the children to explore, learn and find peace on. He said he is very grateful for the support the Greenville community gave at the fundraiser. 

“I thought it was super and a home run,” Kilpatrick said. “Greenville has been marvelous to us, and is our main supporters.”

Jan Kilpatrick, program co-founder and Kilpatrick’s wife, expressed her gratitude to the community as well. 

“It’s just been a tremendous night,” Jan said. “It’s been a great blessing for the community to come together in this way to support us and get behind us for the sake of these children we’ve worked with each week. We’re just very grateful as it was a success!”