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Stacy Dodd, who is spearheading the effort for the Hope Center community center in Horn Lake, explained the project to about 100 people who attended a kickoff dinner in 2015 at the Holiday Inn in Southaven. Two events are planned to update supporters on the project.

Just having hope is enough to sustain life in most dire circumstances and in other cases, hope can enable an individual to not merely survive but thrive.

Stacy Dodd, Executive Director of the Hope Center, said two upcoming events this next week are designed to give people in the greater Horn Lake area hope about their future.

This Past Tuesday the Hope Gala at the Club at North Creek was said to be one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Hope Center, Inc., a Christian-based ministry and outreach to youth and people of all ages in the greater Horn Lake community.

Dodd was among the many speakers for the evening and he hoped to update donors and invited guests on the many projects associated with the Hope Center.

Projects include the two-acre Trails of Hope being developed adjacent to Shadow Oaks Elementary School and the Hope Center Community Center, currently housed inside Horn Lake Intermediate School, which provides after school tutoring and recreational activities.

“Work is continuing on the Trails of Hope,” Dodd said. “Hope Center has been given access to two acres by Shadow Oaks School for us to get in there and clean these trails up and make it a place for families in the community. We will be presenting these trails to the City of Horn Lake in the Fall of 2017.”

“Our dream is to also have our own gym, our own coffee shop on the second story above the gym,” said Dodd. “We would really like to build one not only in Horn Lake but in Hernando and Southaven and Olive Branch. We really think there needs to be a Hope Center in every neighborhood. There needs to be hope in nice neighborhoods as well as poorer neighborhoods. Everyone involved with the Hope Center are Christian people and have the community at heart.”

Dodd said he is most excited about the Hope Center’s event on April 29 at Horn Lake Intermediate School, which is being headlined by the John C. Maxwell Global Initiative and hosted by the Hope Center. That event is from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

A series of events is being hosted worldwide by the John Maxwell Team from April 24-30 which encourages leadership in big cities and small towns alike.

“Across the globe in churches, community centers and other places, we hope that millions of community leaders and young people can be reached in a positive way,” Dodd said.

From anti-bullying to building self esteem, motivational speakers will seek to empower young and old alike to rebuild their communities with a sense of purpose for the common good and help those communities thrive and grow.

“The whole thing is about mentoring and helping kids,” said Dodd, whose organization sponsored the Horn Lake Chamber of Commerce quarterly luncheon on Thursday.

The Hope Community Center, Inc., is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the community of Horn Lake by providing safe activities and events for the area’s youth, adults, and seniors. Combining a much-needed after-school program with a variety of activities for citizens of all ages, the Hope Center “will infuse the culture of Horn Lake with optimism and a more positive community,” according to Dodd.

Donations can be mailed to The Hope Center, P.O. Box 1433, Southaven, MS 38671. Please make checks payable to The Hope Center.