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A Night With Friends

Friday, February 10, 2012
by Marilyn Fountain
When Michael W. Smith sits down at the piano, as he did at the recent 2012 Star of Hope Banquet - Above All, you get more than a great performance; you get the feeling that you are in the company of a gentleman and a friend.

Michael W. Smith at Star of Hope Banquet

That said, on the evening of February 2nd, the Lanier Ballroom at the Hilton Americas was transformed into a glorious sanctuary where the theme of the program: Above All --taken from Michael’s 2002 Inspirational Song of the Year, of the same title-- set the tone for an incomparable night of ministry, worship, and reverence for the One Who makes all things possible. Michael’s deft touch on the Grand Yamaha and repertoire of songs both remembered and new were a perfect fit with the program and lifted the spirit of the evening to heavenly heights. In a room lit with fiber-optic stars peeking through a midnight backdrop, and with more than 2,000 Star of Hope donors, volunteers and first-timers in attendance, you could almost hear the heart of God beating with joy, for such a time as this.

It was not just a night to be enjoyed—though it was enjoyable from beginning to end. It was our moment of expressed gratitude to our many supporters, our faithful friends, who link arms with us throughout the year, helping us to care for the down-and-out, the dispossessed, the profoundly disappointed—the diverse urban-scape of homeless men, women and children who seek the hope and help that is available, at Star of Hope.

Thank you everyone! Thank you, Nino, of Flowers by Nino, for the gorgeous floral arrangements. Nobody does flowers like you. Thank you Bright Star Productions for letting our lights shine, Rick Christi, of Studio W, for your expert direction, Ben E. Keith for your generous contribution to our dinner, Blacktie for your fabulous photos, Bruce Padilla, of Baccarat, for making our first Points of Light gift a thing of beauty, and Edward Hankey, for giving it an elegant base on which to rest; Gerald Ray for filling our registration area with music that made our guest feel special, Courtney Rai of Magic Moments, Inc., for helping us reach for the sky, and Bonita Bevel, of the Hilton Americas, for keeping us grounded.

Thank you, friends who were there and those who could not come. Thank you Ariel, Tamokia and Courtney for sharing your stories of victory over unimaginable odds; the valiant veterans of the Color Guard for presenting our nation’s flags, and Scot Cameron, for your beautiful delivery of the National Anthem.

Tomokia sharing her testimony at Star of Hope Banquet

Congratulations Dr. Moorhead, the first recipient of the Star of Hope George and Barbara Bush Volunteer Service Award, for your selfless service in helping the homeless to see clearly. Thank you.

Above All, thank you, Lord, for making this night with friends possible.


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