The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

August 3, 2013

Growing Hope Network: Shiver Me Timbers Pirate Bash to help raise funds

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Adrianne Goans, 8, has put on her tutu and gone to Hype Dance Production every week for about a year. She said the best thing about going is that she has made new friends.

Her mother, Samantha Goans, said Adrianne has become more outgoing and gained confidence.

“I think it was a really big blessing — especially after I got hurt,” Samantha Goans said.

She has been dealing with a serious on-the-job injury that prevents her from going back to work.

Adrianne’s dance lessons are possible because of a scholarship from Growing Hope Network, an Enid nonprofit established by Rebecca Kroeker in 2007 to offer youth programs which were not then being offered.

Growing Hope Network awards arts-related extracurricular activity scholarships to underprivileged Enid-area youth grades 3-7. Nominations are made by the schools, and a scholarship committee chooses the recipients.

Hype Dance Production, realizing Adrianne had a younger sister, Emily, 7, provided a scholarship of their own for Emily so both sisters can participate.

“I’m just so grateful for Growing Hope Network,” Samantha Goans said. “They are so awesome.”

A pirate-themed evening at Oakwood Country Club will raise funds for Growing Hope Network.

Funds raised by the Shiver Me Timbers Pirate Bash, 6 p.m. on Saturday, will be used for youth arts scholarships and family programs. The adults-only evening will be “come and go,” and will feature a live auction, photo booth, DJ music and prime rib buffet. Guests can dress casual or turn out in pirate attire.

Tickets, $35 each, can be purchased in advance at Pearl Junkie or ATS Counseling.

Sponsorship levels are Captain, $500 or more; First Mate, $250 to $499; and Quartermaster, $100 to $249.

Angelica Berry, vice-president of the Growing Hope Network board of directors, said they’d love to raise about $10,000 for the next round of scholarships. It’s heartbreaking to have to turn children away, Berry said.

“The YMCA has some amazing scholarships with their Back-a-Youth program; however, anything that was arts-related was not being covered by any organization,” Kroeker said. “My girls are in dance and my son takes art lessons. I wanted a program which would help underprivileged kids have some of these same opportunities.”

Along with the scholarships, the children are provided whatever resources they need to participate in the activity, Kroeker said. For dance, they are provided with dance shoes and recital costumes to augment dance lessons. For guitar, they are given lessons and a new guitar.

Other programs of Growing Hope Network include:

• A certified Batterers Intervention Program, which works closely with the Domestic Violence Task Force;

• Anger Management and Parenting programs; and

• Offender Re-entry programming in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. This program includes employment training, transition planning, communication training, skills building, financial planning, parenting and relationship skills building.

“Because of the expansion in programming, including the domestic violence work, we are needing to expand into additional space behind our current location,” Kroeker said.