A familiar face in volunteer circles is the new executive director of Boys Hope Girls Hope of Pittsburgh.
Ali Brush of Fox Chapel is serving to advance the local affiliate of the international organization that strives to graduate educated young people in the U.S. and Latin America.
Brush and her team of dozens of volunteers are preparing for Evening of Hope, scheduled for March 7 at the Pittsburgh Field Club.
“We all chaired this event together for a long time. I love the organization and this position,” Brush said.
Brush has extensive nonprofit leadership experience and previously served as the regional manager for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition in Pittsburgh and Dallas.
Evening of Hope is open to the public, and organizers encourage everyone to gather their friends for fellowship and fun combined with fundraising.
“The goal is to raise much-needed funds for the scholars in our program and to help academically capable kids coming from various backgrounds (and) situations,” Brush said.
Children ages 10 to 14 are eligible for referral. Some are dealing with parent/guardian illness, neighborhood violence, family stress, poverty or underperforming schools.
Each Boys Hope Girls Hope participant is called a scholar, from middle school to college and into their respective careers.
The organization has two residence homes in the Pittsburgh region — in Squirrel Hill and Coraopolis.
Traditionally, the event features a scholar speaker. This year, Brush is replacing that component with a brief presentation and a yearly update.
Boys Hope Girls Hope collegians and alumni also will serve as guest speakers.
“I think they can, from a more adult perspective, talk about how the program impacted them,” Brush said.
The 2024 Pittsburgh-area fundraising goal is about $200,000.
All proceeds will benefit Boys Hope Girls Hope of Pittsburgh.
The organization assists each scholar by providing for their individual needs and providing a family-like environment that includes goal setting and mentoring.
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During the event, attendees have the opportunity to buy “wish donations” for Boys Hope Girls Hope scholars.
Examples of wish donations include a trip to the Carnegie Museum, a prom dress, new bedding, one week of healthy meals for a Boys Hope Girls Hope scholar’s house, summer camps, leadership development workshops and high school tuition support.
Last year’s event in Fox Chapel was welcomed after a pandemic-induced hiatus since 2019.
“Last year was the relaunch after covid of the event, and we raised well over $50,000,” Brush said.
Known as Girls Hope in Fox Chapel since 1991, Brush said the event evolved into Boys Hope Girls Hope in 2020.
There are 17 other global affiliates of Boys Hope Girls Hope.
Justin Melnick, executive chef of the Pittsburgh Field Club, will prepare heavy hors d’oeuvres. A cash bar will be available.
Event chair couples are Meredith and Mike Ley and Hannah and Brad Roth.
Hannah Roth of O’Hara said the event offers the usual mix and mingle elements, with an inspiring message.
“I’m inspired by people tirelessly volunteering their time, efforts and financial support to rally about our local youth to lift them up. It takes one person, one time, one moment to change a child’s life, and this organization embodies that,” Roth said.
Additional Evening of Hope events are scheduled this spring in the South Hills, Sewickley and, new this year, in the East End.
Meredith Ley of Fox Chapel has volunteered with Boys Hope Girls Hope for several years and is hopeful the event will entice new people to get involved.
“The organization is very close to my heart given the profound impact it has on its scholars,” Ley said.
To purchase tickets online for Evening of Hope in Fox Chapel, click here
Joyce Hanz is a TribLive reporter covering the Alle-Kiski Valley. A native of Charleston, S.C., she graduated from the University of South Carolina. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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If you go
What: Boys Hope Girls Hope of Pittsburgh's Evening of Hope
When: 6 to 8 p.m. March 7
Where: Pittsburgh Field Club, 121 Field Club Road, Fox Chapel
Cost: $75 per person
Details:bhghpittsburgh.org; proper attire required, no denim
Boys Hope Girls Hope of Pittsburgh is planning an Evening of Hope series of events for 2024. For details, visit bhghpittsburgh.org.
South Hills: March 22, Valleybrook Country Club
Sewickley: May 18, Allegheny Country Club
Downtown Pittsburgh: October, date to be determined; Il Tetto, Sienna Mercato Rooftop