2019 Benefit Gala

Cornerstone of Hope celebrated 16 years of hope during our 16th Annual Gala, held on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at The Embassy Suites-Rockside Road, in Independence.

The “Sweet 16” evening featured music by Taylor Tripodi, a 2018 Chevy Trax Redline Edition grand prize raffle, and many unique auction experiences such as a Castle in Tuscany, private dining experience at Osteria, and a legendary PGA tour stop Firestone Country Club Experience. The evening was dedicated to celebrating Kim and Joey Lojek’s commitment to serving grieving children and their families in our community.

Thank you to the volunteers who worked tirelessly to help prepare for the auctions and raffles, event sponsors who made the evening possible, to the Board of Director members, committee members, staff, attendees and generous donors.

We are beyond grateful for all the sponsors, donors, board members, volunteers and attendees for making the 16th Annual Benefit Gala a success. Because of your generosity we are able to continue to working toward our mission of Creating a World Where No Grieving Person Journeys Alone.


2019 Champions of Hope: Kim and Joey Lojek

Integrity, humility, generous and tender of heart are words that come to mind when I describe Joey Lojek. Passionate, kind, hard-working and service minded are characteristics of his spouse, Kim. Together, they have brought a light of enthusiasm, trust and willingness to join Cornerstone of Hope’s mission of meeting families in their darkest hour, constantly offering HOPE to those who grieve!

Christi and I formally met the Lojeks 10 years ago at our annual Gala. As Cornerstone’s programs and outreach continued to evolve so did Joey and Kim’s commitment. In spending time with them over the years, we have always tried to express our gratitude with words of praise and thanksgiving only to hear both of them say in tandem, “No! Thank you! Cornerstone of Hope deserves the praise…not us.” Inevitably tears well in their eyes when we discuss what brings families to seek support from our ministry. In particular, Kim is reminded of what it was like to be a grieving teen as she experienced the loss of her mother at the age of 17.

The compassion they have for those who grieve is so evident. They chose to journey with friends and colleagues who grieve with words of encouragement, a listening ear and steadfastness to always be present with them. Those who know Joey recognize that he is soft spoken. However, his heart speaks volumes when you get to know what a caring and giving man that he is. Those traits are evident in the culture of his company, Premier Truck Sales and Rentals. During a recent tour as I interacted with his employees, I witnessed the utmost respect for their leader.

As a former Board Member, Kim continues to go above and beyond for Cornerstone of Hope at every opportunity. She is relentless in her pursuit of unique auction items for our annual Gala and creative in her approach to suggest better ways for us to gain awareness in the community, serve more families and increase our development efforts. Kim always shares a new idea on how Cornerstone of Hope can be even better. We are blessed by her thoughtful insight. We are honored and privileged to recognize Kim and Joe Lojek as our 2019 Champion of Hope recipient. Thank you for always…always being so eager to help us, help others! May God continue to guide and protect you, your family and your work every day! – Mark Tripodi

Special Thanks

Gala Chair –Missy Hayes

Gala Committee – Laura Filippi, Jennifer Gramlich, Becky Manelski, Terri Schreiber, Carrie Sears, Traci Ward, Lisa Woods

Mistress of Ceremonies – Sara Shookman (WKYC TV Anchor)

Master of Ceremonies & Celebrity Auctioneer – Mark Schroeder (Former Cleveland TV Sports Anchor)



A special thank you to the Cleveland Photographic Society photographers, Wendy Stambaugh and Jan Farruggua, for donating their photography services. Learn more at clevelandphoto.org.

The generosity shared during our 2019 Annual Benefit Gala has made a significant impact in supporting Cornerstone of Hope’s Accidental Overdose Programs, providing support to grieving individuals and families affected by overdose.