Event chairs Walter Wirth and Suzanne Westlake

The trouble started seven years ago. The young man in college was drifting – drowning, in fact. His worried parents confessed confusion regarding what to do. Wards and treatment facilities were stifling and not always helpful. What he needed was fresh air, a new chapter. Released to live at Hopewell, he experienced stillness and serenity. It is a place, he said, that is unconfined, with whole food and empowering work to “free and soul… a cast for the mind.”
Three years sober, the now second-year law student spoke eloquently to about 300 assembled guests about his struggle, indicating that Hopewell helped him turn his life around. For thousands of years, humankind has celebrated the summer solstice – why not one more reason to enjoy the longest day of the year? Hopewell has held their Summer Solstice benefit for decades, and this year it was held at a new location – a perfect one –

Denise Kestner, Clara Rankin and Steve Kestner

Squire Valleevue Farm in Moreland Hills.
Indoors, guests perused silent auction items, and outdoors everyone enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres, a signature blueberry gin cocktail, mocktails, a full bar, and an assortment of fine wines. Further afield – literally – an elegant white tent and tables set with white and yellow linens was the setting for an excellent dinner prepared and skillfully served by NOSH Creative Catering. After dinner, there was a live auction and a salute to Hopewell founder Clara Rankin, who recently celebrated her 105th birthday. Organizers indicated operating costs hover near $1 million annually and were hoping to raise at least a quarter of that for fee assistance for people seeking residential mental health care.
The keynote speaker’s story is just one of hundreds of success stories Hopewell staff has

Peter and Mary Joyce and Dave Vincent

helped facilitate over the years. Hopewell is a 325-acre working farm in Geauga County where residents are part of a supportive community and receive expert clinical care. Through the healing power of nature and the rhythm of daily routine throughout the seasons, the organization helps people learn to experience a self-reliant and satisfying life. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY RITA KUEBER