Eileen Devereux guarantees the Party with a Heart Grease sing-a-long will not disappoint and notes this year’s beneficiary Hope Rises is an ideal partner, with women empowering women to succeed in life.
By Rebekah Hall | Photography by Sarah Oden | Hair by Whitney Lee with Face Your Day Xpress | Makeup by Savannah Davis with Face Your Day Xpress | Wardrobe from Barbara Jean | 1961 Cadillac courtesy of LuAnn Ashley
Party with a Heart has a simple mission – hosting events that bring women together for an evening of camaraderie and fun that also raises money for important causes. Logistics Chairman Eileen Devereux guarantees this year’s Grease sing-along will not disappoint and reiterates this year’s beneficiary Hope Rises is an ideal partner, with women empowering women to succeed in life.
Eileen serves on the Party with a Heart Board of Directors and notes her friend Tifany Hamlin introduced her to the organization. Tifany, along with Yvette Parker and Lisa Brumley, established Party with a Heart three years ago to raise awareness and support for community-based issues. “Tifany let me know about her idea of starting Party with a Heart with the purpose of doing something different while being charitable, and I immediately knew I wanted to be part of it,” Eileen remembers.
Eileen felt compelled by the organization’s simple mission of harnessing the collective power of a dedicated group of women. “I love to give back and contribute to the community. There is no better way to do that than by spending time with really great women who work to help others, want to make it easy, and do it with the emphasis of empowering each other and having a good time.”
Party with a Heart’s 2018 nonprofit partner is Hope Rises, an organization that works to provide incarcerated and recently released women with opportunities to achieve personal and economic empowerment as well as holistic services to improve their health and wellness. “Hope Rises could not be a better fit for Party with a Heart. The work they do is so important and meaningful,” Eileen explains. “It is a beautiful and necessary thing to have the capacity to look at a sister and try to help, instead of just turning away and assuming they’ll figure it out.”
The organization has a 0% recidivism rate – meaning 0% of the graduates from the 6-month residential program have reoffended. This equates to a 100% success rate. Additional support from Party with a Heart members and event attendees translates into measurable results in the lives of the women that Hope Rises serves.
Party with a Heart hosts a girls night out dance party in the spring and a movie sing-a-long in the fall as well as an Italian wine dinner at Ristorante Capeo. Next month, women will have the opportunity to get their girls together in their best 50s costumes for the Grease movie sing-a-long at Argenta Community Theater. Highlights include light bites from Ben E. Keith Foods, complimentary refreshments and a goodie bag from E. Leigh’s Boutique with snazzy sing-a-long accessories. The night will also feature photo booth fun – sponsored by Arvest Bank – to capture the evening’s festivities.
“We do invite people to dress up, but with the emphasis that we want you to come as you are and how you feel the most comfortable,” Eileen emphasizes. “This is also why we’ve made these parties for women only – because it all started with the inspiration of women coming together for a good cause, in a time when everything you stand for is meaningful and has an immediate impact.”
WHY HOPE RISES?
The number of incarcerated women in Arkansas prisons increased by 70% (2006 – 2016). The recidivism rate in Arkansas is 56% – more than half the individuals released from prison return in three years. Just last year, Hope Rises served nearly 200 women in jail, prison or residential programs – with a 0% recidivism, 100% success rate.