On Thursday, May 5, 2016, Hour Children – the charity that helps incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women rebuild their families and their lives – held its annual luncheon in Bedford, NY.
And Hope Sings was there to celebrate the organization – with founder Beth Blatt reprising the song she wrote for them, inspired by letters between Kellie Phelan and her daughter when she was in prison.
The song, “Hour Children,” was originally presented at the Hope Sings “Songs for a Cause” event in Katonah NY in June 2015. The event featured singer-songwriters Jake Klar, S4C co-director Elizabeth Kemler and Blatt and raised awareness of/funds for Hour Children.
Sharing the duet with Beth as Kellie’s daughter was Tara Curran, a 13-year-old middle schooler who has quite a musical career, appearing around Westchester and Putnam Counties with her duo, Justin and Tara, and her band Gilbert. Michael Minard, who is a successful composer who creates songs and musicals with incarcerated women, accompanied them.
The luncheon was a huge success. 170 people attended the event, which raised about $45,000 for Hour Children’s programs in Westchester County. Hour Children has strong local support thanks to their work with women and their children at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.
“Your performance at our luncheon enabled guests to really FEEL the complicated relationship between an incarcerated mother and daughter,” Rob Zopf, Development Director for Hour Children, told Beth. “Your song captures the fears, anxiety, love and hope felt by countless incarcerated parents and their children. That the characters portrayed in the song have a happy ending in real life, reminds us that “Love Makes the Difference” is not merely a motto, but a key element in Hour Children’s strategy to reunite families impacted by incarceration.”
Honorees at the luncheon included the inspirational and assured Miyoshi Benton, recipient of the Hour Exemplary Mother award. She has gone from being incarcerated, to working for Hour Children, to working for the Women and Justice Project.