Hope Village Fundraiser Saturday Night

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Hope Village Board and Staff members, along with staff from the Riley Center were busy Wednesday morning planning one of the center's biggest events to date: Sela Ward's gala for Hope Village this Saturday night. Hope Village Board member Rhonda Poole says that Ward has worked extremely hard for this benefit.

"She has worked every avenue of getting auction items, autographed things from different celebrities," Poole said. "She has brought in tons of different celebrities and entertainers, some of the cast members from CSI: New York."

Along with the auctions, celebrities, and entertainment, Poole said she thinks the most important part of the night will revolve around a special video.

"In that video they're going to have children who have grown up there and they're out in the real world and have families of their own," said Poole. "And just those stories that they're sharing in that video will just make a huge impact for a long time for those that get the opportunity to watch it."

Even though the event is sold out, you can still come watch the celebrities walk the red carpet along Fifth Street into the Riley Center Saturday night.

Hope Village staff member Linda Burwell says, "They can do that by gathering in Dumont Plaza, and they will be able to see Sela Ward and the cast of CSI: New York. They will be on the red carpet and they will be able to take pictures and cheer them on."

Poole says that they have put a lot of work into this event and expect it to be a success, but at the end of day, everything done that night is for the kids.

"Most of all, it's about the awareness and letting people know that when we leave here on the 20th, the 21st the kids are still at Hope Village," said Poole. "They're still living their lives and getting their education. That's what's important."

Ward's co-star on CSI: New York, Gary Sinise, and other celebrities including Brett Favre, Carmine Giovinazzo, Hill Harper, AJ Buckley, Robert Joy, Sam Haskell and Lance Bass are expected to be on hand for the event, which is sold out.

It includes dinner, a live auction and a live performance by LeAnn Rimes.