A foundation started by the parents of a young Oconee County woman killed in an automobile crash in 2016 had a successful inaugural event recently in Athens.
“The benefit was an overwhelming success. We raised a lot of funds going to the scholarship program. Hopefully, we can start awarding scholarships rather quickly,” Kim Keegan said.
The Hope Gala held at Hotel Indigo raised money for the Ashton Hope Keegan Foundation, formed in the memory of Ashton Keegan, who was killed in August 2016. The 23-year-old woman worked at My Athens and served as a volunteer for several nonprofits.
With their daughter’s sudden death, Ed and Kim Keegan “were not only faced with the loss of their only daughter,” but also faced with “the loss of their main purpose in life,” according to the foundation’s announcement of the Hope Gala.
The gala featured music, dance and an auction.
“Because of how successful it was, we do plan on doing it again next year,” Kim Keegan said.
The outpouring of donations showed that individuals and businesses “were able to grab onto the story of my daughter’s passions. It really resonated with them and it was humbling for me,” Kim Keegan said.
Ashton Keegan’s parents formed the foundation “with the aim of fulfilling the vision that Ashton had for her life.”
She had started a foster program in Oconee County to save animals who were placed in the animal control unit and she began working with women who needed extra help in providing for their families, according to Kim Keegan.
Though the couple was able to sponsor the cost of materials for five women to obtain their GEDs last August, they wanted to raise more money to expand their reach in the community.
For more information about the Hope Gala, or to inquire about sponsorship or donations, contact Kim Keegan at (660) 233-2512 or email her at AshtonHopeKeeganFoundation@gmail.com