Celebrate Life, Afternoon Delight 2014

Silent Screams Incorporated is a local organization that services the needs of sexual crime survivors, especially the silent survivors who never told a soul about their trauma.  It is the vision of Carolyn J Hudson, the founder and executive director. Part of the vision was to gift the women of the community with an afternoon away from their normal daily events and challenges. Her desire was to give them a luncheon of food, fun and fellowship. She had to have enough faith to pull it off because Silent Screams had no budget.  On Saturday, July 19, 2014 Silent Screams honored the women in the community with an elegant lunch and live entertainment. It was Silent Screams first event, Celebrate Life, Afternoon Delight.

The event was pretty well attended. The Hopkins Senior Center in Duncanville was turned into an elegant banquet hall. With white cloth tablecloths and yellow napkins, elegant table setting and plated china meals, one might have felt they were at the Omni.  As the guests entered they were amazed at the elegance of the atmosphere. The guest enjoyed a meal of tender seasoned brisket, chicken breast, string beans with almond, russet potatoes and homemade rolls. In the center of each table was a 3 level tier of desserts (chocolate covered strawberries, lemon bars, mini cakes). Catered by A La Carte Catering and Cakes the food received raved reviews.

What can we say about the servers? Just awesome, incredible! Each server was a volunteer. One a retired former marine, one CFO of a school district, one a corporate businessman. Another was a retired postal worker and former navy man; another was the manager and cook of an Institute and the last server was a full time missionary. You would have thought they were professional servers, so regal and on point. You could tell their hearts were in serving the guests and they did it with a spirit of excellence.

To add to the beauty of the event and bring a delight to the guests, the Thom Brownlee Jr. Jazz band performed and supplied the background music while the guests feasted. The program began with sixteen year old Shaniqua Garland, singing a cappella. Shanique celebrated her birthday that day yet she wanted to come and sing for the ladies at the luncheon. What a gift!

The keynote speech was delivered by  founder Carolyn J Hudson . Her address was moving, inspiring and empowering. Carolyn a multi Keep Wateringassault survivor herself spoke on the many challenges we may have that can easily take our life but she encouraged us to keep watering our souls.  Keep Watering, what appears to be dead may not be dead yet!  She tied what appeared to be a dead looking plant to her life and ours and took us on a journey from trauma down to hopelessness up to life again.  Awesome incredible correlation! There were tears of inspiration, encouragement, hope and empowerment throughout the banquet hall. The guests gave her a standing ovation.

Following the keynote speaker various agencies spoke a few minutes about the agency they represented beginning with the Dallas Police Department Crimes Against Persons Division, then Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center followed by Trauma Support Services of North Texas, followed by Arise International and ending with Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. The guests  were exposed to a little snippet of the vast resources in the community  for survivors of sexual traumas.

Finally, the program culminated with laugher as Ms. Vickie, a local yet nationally known comedian, entertained the honored guests into stiches of laughter. Let’s not forget the many fun gift drawings throughout the program.  As the guests exited the event each was given a gift bag.  It was a wonderful time of celebrating life. Did the guest feel honored? Did the guest feel special?  I think so.  The event was free, a gift from the hearts of those who care and support survivors of sexual crimes.

We congratulate Silent Screams on the success of their first event and  we are looking forward to next year.