Champagne brunch honors moms by helping them get a college degree


Brunch funds program that assists mothers in quest for college degree

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]



Young Xavion Donovan winces as his mother, Laverne Donovan, tries to take a picture of them both at the second annual Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch to benefit the Women with Children Program at Misericordia University in Dallas.


Charlotte Bartizek | For Times Leader

Jade Levi kneels down with her daughter, Avery Levi, to take a chance for a gift basket at the second annual Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch.


Charlotte Bartizek | For Times Leader

Miya Counts plays on the stair rails while waiting for the brunch to begin. The event benefits the Women with Children program, which allows young mothers to complete their college education while living with their children on campus.


Charlotte Bartizek | For Times Leader

Cecilia Pons, center, toasts her mother Lynn Pons, right, of Kingston, and her grandmother, Maureen Pacuska, of Wilkes-Barre, at the second annual Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch at Misericordia University.


Charlotte Bartizek | For Times Leader

Stephanie Pagan and her daughter, Miya Counts, are all smiles at the champagne brunch.


Charlotte Bartizek | For Times Leader


Recommended


    DALLAS — At a Mother’s Day brunch at Misericordia University, mothers were recognized in more ways than one.

    The university held its second annual Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch and Fundraiser on Sunday morning, with all proceeds benefitting the university’s Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program.

    Katherine Pohlidal, director of the Women with Children Program, said the event has been an effective way of bringing the program to the eyes of the community.

    “We did this event last year, and it went well so we decided to do it again,” Pohlidal said.

    According to Pohlidal, there are only a few other programs in the United States that are similar to the Women with Children Program, and no others in Pennsylvania.

    The program provides scholarships to single mothers at or below the poverty line so they can receive a four-year degree. In addition to the degree, mothers in the program receive housing for both themselves and their children.

    Pohlidal said that over the program’s 17 years, it has expanded greatly. Just recently, the program began offering help to 16 families, up from 10 previously, and a third house was put into use for the families to live in.

    “We hope to only see the program grow in the future,” Pohlidal said. “Poverty is a huge barrier, and education can really help with that.”

    Pohlidal said that five of the mothers in the program were graduating, with all of them either headed to graduate school or off to pursue some kind of a professional career.

    Asia Thompson, 24, originally from New Jersey, is one of those soon-to-be graduates. Thompson just completed her course work for a degree in English, and is now deciding between law schools to attend.

    “A lot of people in this program come from an adverse background, and it saves lives in more ways than one,” Thompson said.

    Thompson is part of the program with her son, Zeire, 7, and her daughter, Kaitlyn, 5. She says that the benefits she and her family receive from the program are “amazing.”

    “It builds a solid foundation,” Thompson said. “It’s beneficial for not only the mothers but also the children.”

    Sunday’s brunch was open to the public, with tickets ranging from $20 for children aged 12 to 18 and $50 for adults. Aside from getting a full range of brunch options and brunch cocktails like mimosas and Bloody Marys, attendees got the satisfaction of knowing that their ticket costs went towards funding another endowed scholarship.

    Maureen Borton Dicker, of Hawley, came to the brunch as a way of helping the scholarship get funded.

    “My mother and aunt are Misericordia alumnae, so we thought this was a good way to honor them,” she said. “And we have a big place in our hearts for helping mothers succeed, so we thought we’d come have brunch.”

    Young Xavion Donovan winces as his mother, Laverne Donovan, tries to take a picture of them both at the second annual Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch to benefit the Women with Children Program at Misericordia University in Dallas.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL-051517-mothers-day-brunch-3.jpgYoung Xavion Donovan winces as his mother, Laverne Donovan, tries to take a picture of them both at the second annual Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch to benefit the Women with Children Program at Misericordia University in Dallas. Charlotte Bartizek | For Times Leader

    Jade Levi kneels down with her daughter, Avery Levi, to take a chance for a gift basket at the second annual Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL-051517-mothers-day-brunch-4.jpgJade Levi kneels down with her daughter, Avery Levi, to take a chance for a gift basket at the second annual Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch. Charlotte Bartizek | For Times Leader

    Miya Counts plays on the stair rails while waiting for the brunch to begin. The event benefits the Women with Children program, which allows young mothers to complete their college education while living with their children on campus.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL-051517-mothers-day-brunch-2.jpgMiya Counts plays on the stair rails while waiting for the brunch to begin. The event benefits the Women with Children program, which allows young mothers to complete their college education while living with their children on campus. Charlotte Bartizek | For Times Leader

    Cecilia Pons, center, toasts her mother Lynn Pons, right, of Kingston, and her grandmother, Maureen Pacuska, of Wilkes-Barre, at the second annual Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch at Misericordia University.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL-051517-mothers-day-brunch-5.jpgCecilia Pons, center, toasts her mother Lynn Pons, right, of Kingston, and her grandmother, Maureen Pacuska, of Wilkes-Barre, at the second annual Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch at Misericordia University. Charlotte Bartizek | For Times Leader

    Stephanie Pagan and her daughter, Miya Counts, are all smiles at the champagne brunch.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL-051517-mothers-day-brunch-6.jpgStephanie Pagan and her daughter, Miya Counts, are all smiles at the champagne brunch. Charlotte Bartizek | For Times Leader
    Brunch funds program that assists mothers in quest for college degree

    By Patrick Kernan

    [email protected]

    Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6119 or on Twitter @PatKernan.

    Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6119 or on Twitter @PatKernan.

    comments powered by Disqus