F.O.S.T.E.R. founder and CEO Jackie Hunt never got to go to prom as a young person. But on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Angell Park Pavilion in Sun Prarie, she and her organization will be hosting their first annual adult prom fundraising event and hoping to raise awareness about the disparities in Black and brown communities.
“Going into 2021, COVID is still present and rapid,” said Hunt. “There are a lot of residual impacts that families and households are experiencing as a result of that. The needs were just exacerbated because we already know that there were needs and people were marginalized in our communities. But COVID revealed some even harsher truths.
“I received some grant funding, I received donations to keep the work that I was doing going,” Hunt adds. “I was providing food, gas, car repairs, utilities, housing, and rental assistance, putting people up in hotels, assisting with federal expenses, assisting with repass food, just supporting families in ways that I knew were really helpful, and that were really relevant to what was happening in their lives and what was happening within our community.”
The vision statement of F.O.S.T.E.R. (Families Overcoming Struggles To Encourage Restoration) of Dane County is to ensure stability and ability for strong, successful, and thriving Black families who are raising healthy and successful children, supporting their families who engage in their communities in meaningful ways. Hunt is looking forward to this event because she had a blast when she went to prom for the first time a few years ago.
“I never got to go to prom,” said Hunt. “About three years ago, maybe four, a guy in our community put on an adult prom. And my son came home from college and took his mom to prom. He had the whole thing like we had the corsages and the matching outfits. He had a photographer come and take pictures of our send-off. It was so beautiful.
“I had never experienced prom. And when I posted pictures, people were like, ‘Oh, I wish I had a prom’ or ‘I want to do something like that’. When I was thinking about a fundraising event, I had always said I’m going to do an adult prom,” she added. “So, I just jumped right in.”
The prom fundraiser’s theme is “Night of Elegance.” and will take place Saturday, Oct. 23 at Angell Park Pavillion located at 315 Park St., Sun Prairie. There will be a live music performance by Kinfolk and a show from the Curvy Queenz of Dallas. Formal attire is required for the event. Ticket prices are $50 for a single ticket, couples are $80. The event planning and designs are by JFM Unlimited, LLC.
“The evidence is in all the statistics and in all the disparities amongst Black people and people of color in our society, not only in our community. I believe that we are the solution,” Hunt says. “And my mantra has always been be the change you wish to see in the world. And that’s exactly what I strive to do every day, create change, be that change, offer that hope and support people getting there.”