Family Centers Center for Hope Luncheon

Norwalk, CTMay 16, 2017

On May 16, motivational speaker and entrepreneur Kate Milliken delivered an inspirational keynote address at the 2017 Center for HOPE Luncheon.  The event was held at the Wee Burn Beach Club in Rowayton.

Milliken was learned she had MS in 2006, and shared personal accounts of her journey as she came to grips with her diagnosis.  Early on, she saw a need for a moment-based, authentic platform to show others what it was like to actually live with an illness. She started the online support forum, MyCounterpane, not only as a vehicle to share her own struggles, but also to stimulate conversation and inspire others to educate the public on MS and other illnesses through short movies. 

Nationally touring recording artists, The Alternate Routes, were also presented a Ray of HOPE Award for their work in using music as a vehicle for healing.  Songwriters Tim Warren and Eric Donnelly have always been drawn to universal themes of redemption, loss and the confusion and madness within the heart.   In 2013, the band composed the song “Nothing More” following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.  Since its release, the song was featured in the season finale of NCIS, and during the final act of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Sochi.

The 2017 Center for HOPE Luncheon was co-chaired by Kate Clark, Meg Critchell and Merrilou Hillenbrand and raised $135,000.  All proceeds from the event benefitted the Center for HOPE and The Den for Grieving Kids, Family Centers’ programs offering counseling and support to residents of lower Fairfield County coping with a loss, a critical illness or life-altering circumstance. 

Family Centers is a private, nonprofit organization offering education and human services to children, adults and families in Fairfield County. Visit or for additional information.


Order Photos