HopeFest to get GCU donation, seeks volunteers
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
There will be more than one winner of the men’s basketball game Thursday night at Grand Canyon University Arena. There actually will be about 25,000 winners, and GCU students and faculty can contribute in other ways for weeks after the game.
Proceeds from the game, with a matching donation from the University, will go to HopeFest Phoenix, an event sponsored by CityServe Arizona that benefits the needy in a variety of tangible ways. The third annual event, which drew an estimated 15,000 in 2012, 20,000 last year and is projecting 25,000 this year, is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.
“It probably is the largest cross-section of public-service agencies and faith-based communities to come together in one place in this area,” said Dean of Students Pastor Tim Griffin, who expects GCU’s total contribution to be as much as $15,000 – $5,000 from the GCU Foundation to be a co-sponsor of HopeFest and up to $10,000 from the game, half of it coming in the game’s proceeds (ticket sales and concessions) and the other half in a matching contribution by the University.
The idea of HopeFest is to provide one place where more than 2,000 volunteers from more than 150 provider groups supply a wide array of services. Among them are health screenings, medical exams, dental care, children’s fluoride treatments, eye exams, immunizations, food, housing, haircuts, child-safety needs, employment services and personal-care products.
Regina Weiler, volunteer program director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security, is serving as the volunteer coordinator for HopeFest and said she is actively recruiting helpers from GCU. To volunteer, go to http://destest.volunteerhub.com/Events/Index. Students can get credit for the hours, which Weiler can verify for them.
Volunteers have a choice of serving on the day of the event or working a four-hour shift on one of the five Saturdays in March arranging the clothing. Weiler explained that event organizers want the clothing center at HopeFest to look like a boutique rather than just piles of mismatched clothes.
Weiler also plans to promote HopeFest at the GCU Career Services job fair, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, on the Promenade.
CityServe originally was formed as a collaboration of local churches seeking ways to better serve their communities. It has evolved into a group designed to forge stronger relationships among churches, providing agencies and government.
Thursday’s game, against the University of Missouri at Kansas City, is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Afterward, the final “Slam and Jam” concert of the season will feature Jeremy Camp, a two-time Christian Male Vocalist of the Year. The concert is free to anyone with a ticket to the game.
Tickets are $5. Family four-packs, which include soda and popcorn, are $15.
Contact Rick Vacek at 639.8203 or [email protected].