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Moms Helping Moms at St. Mary’s Center

Boston, Mass. On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, moms in the community will gather at Novara, the popular Milton-based restaurant to support St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children via Dancing for Hope’s second annual luncheon and fundraising event. To date the Dancing for Hope committee has raised more than $400,000 for St. Mary’s Center’s programs and services for young Moms and their children, which include shelter, education, and job training.


Dancing for Hope committee (L-R) Denise Queally, Evelyn Knight, Jill Hayes, Margaret Walsh, and Danielle McKnight.

Nearly 100 people are expected to attend the luncheon to enjoy great food at Novara, known for its signature drink, “The New Fig on the Block”, a nod to investor Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block.  Knight’s wife and restaurant partner, Evelyn, serves as long-time co-chair of the Dancing for Hope committee along with fellow co-chair and Milton resident Jill Hayes. In addition to Knight and Hayes, committee members include Milton residents Patti Elliott, Danielle McKnight, Denise Queally, and Margaret Walsh.


Hosting the Saturday, May 13th event for the second year in a row, Novara is located in the historic and former State Theatre also known as the Milton Cinema. The event which raised nearly $35,000 last year, begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Guests enjoy a brunch buffet featuring Northern Italian cuisine, sip complimentary mimosas, bid on auction items, and play games. The event also features a brief speaking program where a former St. Mary’s Center resident will share her personal story and accomplishments.


Dancing for Hope celebrates all the Moms and caretakers in our lives and at the same time makes a difference in our community, said Knight.

Tickets are $75 per person. Guests also are invited to bring gifts of new bedding, small housewares, and gift cards to local stores to provide families with critical items as they work toward independence.  More information on purchasing tickets and details on the wishlist for families are available at www.stmaryscenterma.org.


Eight years ago, Evelyn and I launched Dancing for Hope with a few volunteers, and now we have grown to a group of dedicated women who each year support the life-changing work of St. Mary’s Center who help Moms build bright futures,” said Hayes.


All event proceeds benefit St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, the Dorchester-based nonprofit agency that serves more than 600 families and children each year affected by intergenerational homelessness, poverty, and trauma via eight innovative residential, education, employment and preventative programs.


St. Mary’s Center President and CEO Deirdre Houtmeyers has attended four previous Dancing for Hope events since becoming the agency’s leader in 2013. “We are so grateful to the Dancing for Hope committee for their years of unwavering dedication in planning wonderful events that raise awareness and critical funds that help Moms who are working toward self-sufficiency. The committee’s ability to engage the community in our important work is immeasurable.”

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