Katelyn Barbier-Mueller and her husband Oliver sat in their kitchen in early February musing about the causes they love and support. While they were talking, they felt called to do more than give of their personal resources—they wanted to give of their time, too, and they wanted to do something big, something that would recruit many more supporters and lots more funds. They dreamt up the idea of hosting a big party at the Happiest Hour to get people together and raise funds for several organizations that are near and dear to their hearts.
“Our family loves to bring people together whether it’s for a birthday or a wedding or just a random Saturday,” Katelyn told us. “We are always known for corralling our friends to get together for a fun time! So we thought, why not bring that love together with our desire to help and serve those around us?”
Katelyn and Oliver started recruiting their family and friends to help. Their dream started small with a vision of raising at least $500. Before they knew it, their dreams had exploded and Hopefest was born. The event will take place on September 30th at Happiest Hour. Doors open at 3:00 p.m., and live entertainment by Michael Lee, Cas Haley, and Josh Weathers Band will begin at 5:00 p.m.
Katelyn and Oliver handpicked the organizations that Hopefest will support. Connecting Point is a day program serving adults with special needs, and it provides a safe, fun place where the teammates can go each day to learn valuable life skills, social skills, vocational training, independent living skills and much more. In the summer of 2014 Katelyn was hired as the instructional specialist for the organization, and she helped to develop the curriculum and set up the programming.
“I worked at Connecting Point for two years and loved every minute of it,” Katelyn said. “I was able to see first hand what a tremendous impact this program had on the teammates and their families. Once you meet the teammates you can't help but fall in love with them and do whatever possible to help them live their most fulfilling lives as possible.”
Cornerstone Achievement Center is a small private Christian school that focuses on supporting children with special needs. Its goal is to offer individualized and group educational services in a nurturing, supportive and faith-based environment
“I am starting my second year as a teacher at Cornerstone, and just like at Connecting Point, I adore my students,” Katelyn said. “We chose Cornerstone as a benefactor because every day I get to see how much progress these children can make when they are provided the individualized support they need!”
The final organization, Love Like You Mean It, exists to change the treatment of young girls and women in India who are in bondage. Josh Weathers and his wife Kady started the organization.
“When I connected with him about being our headliner and realized his passion for not only his organization but also the other organizations we are supporting, there was immediate synergy,” Katelyn said. “We are thrilled to be supporting a cause he and Kady are so passionate about.”
Katelyn’s faith plays a large role in her passion for service. “I think that Jesus created each of the children and teammates exactly as they are supposed to be, and he created me with a purpose and a heart for loving and caring for them.”
Katelyn loves Dallas, too. As a transplant from Mobile, Alabama, she feels grateful to now call Dallas home. “I was welcomed with open arms, and was very quick to feel at home in Dallas,” she said. “I love the friendliness of everyone, and that you get to be in a big city but still have the southern frame of mind and hospitality!”
If you’re interested in joining Katelyn and Oliver at this exciting event, buy your tickets to Hopefest here.
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Story by Rachel Brown.