‘Candle of Hope’ banquet set for Thursday, Nov. 9 - LancasterOnline: Lifestyle

‘Candle of Hope’ banquet set for Thursday, Nov. 9

Keynote speaker Connie Pombo will talk at Mom’s House fundraiser; she will reveal the difficult personal experiences that ultimately led her to a life of ‘unspeakable joy.’

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Posted: Saturday, October 21, 2006 11:25 pm | Updated: 3:52 pm, Wed Sep 11, 2013.

The author, speaker and mentoring specialist will share her experiences of motherhood and how “God is a God of new beginnings — turning pain and loss into a life of unspeakable joy, purpose and passion,” as the keynote speaker for the 15th annual Candle of Hope banquet to benefit Mom’s House of Lancaster. Her speech is titled “Looking to the future with HOPE.”

The banquet will be held Thursday, Nov. 9, at the Willow Valley Resort’s Terrace Room, 2416 Willow Street Pike. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.; the evening’s events, which also include a silent auction, will begin at 7 p.m. The menu will include a choice of roast sirloin of beef or grilled lemon chicken, a house salad and, for dessert, apple pie or chocolate cake.

Tickets are $30 each; reservations are necessary and should be made no later than Thursday, Nov. 2, by calling Mom’s House administrator Melanie Henry, 396-9130.

Pombo is the founder of Women’s Mentoring Ministries and author of “Trading Ashes for Roses: From Pain to Passion” (Publish America); a featured author, with televangelist Dr. Robert H. Schuller, actress Ann Jillian and former San Francisco Giant baseball pitcher Dave Dravecky, in “Conversations on Faith” (Insight Publishing); and contributing writer to “God Allows U-Turns for Women” (Bethany House Publishers). She contributed to “A Cup of Comfort for Mothers” (Adams Media), which will be released in 2007.

Pombo is also a team mom with CelebrateMoms.org, an Internet Web conference that moms can attend when they need time to “refresh.”

Drawing from her own experiences as a 10-year breast-cancer survivor and her struggles, years ago, with postpartum depression, “she delivers a powerful message of hope with a personal touch,” according to a press release. She identifies ways a person can be strong, productive and upbeat during challenging times and beyond.

Pombo experienced postpartum depression when the first of her two now-grown sons was born 25 years ago. She was living in Italy — she and her husband of 31 years, Mark, have moved 27 times, including the move to Sicily — and, her biography notes, “with friends and family thousands of miles away, Connie leaned on God’s promises to help her through that dark period.”

Later, at age 40, she was diagnosed with breast cancer when her boys were only 9 and 14 years old. “After facing her own death,” the press release noted, “... she wrote down 27 things she wanted to do before she dies, including seeing her sons through safe passage into adulthood.”

Safe passage for children is one of the goals of Mom’s House, a ministry that provides free child care for the children of single parents who are completing their educations.

In addition to Pombo’s speech, some of those unwed mothers will share their own stories about how Mom’s House has given their families a hope and a future.

Mom’s House is offering other sponsorship opportunities for the Candle of Hope banquet. Angel sponsors, for example, who donate $100, will receive a dinner and a program listing; table sponsors, for $250, will receive dinners for eight people and a program listing; silver sponsors, for $500, get 16 dinners and a quarter-page listing; and gold sponsors, for $1,000, will have 32 dinner spaces reserved for them, as well as a half-page listing in the program.

“Each day is a precious gift,” Pombo said, “and life’s trials are an opportunity for personal growth. I understand what’s really important in life and how my priorities of God, family and friends are now my guiding compass.”

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