Cleveland Grief Center’s Signature Fundraising Event Sets Stage for Further Expansion of Services

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (June 23, 2022) – Cornerstone of Hope (COH) hosted its 19th Annual Gala on June 11, 2022. 600 guests were treated to a captivating evening on the beautiful grounds of Cornerstone of Hope for an enchanting outdoor dining experience with unforgettable ambiance, dinner and drinks under the stars.  The Gala is the grief center’s signature fundraising event, providing financial breath to the organization and generating a significant source of operating revenue for Cornerstone of Hope to continue providing the critical support needed for those grieving the loss of a loved one.

Each year, the Gala offers attendees a live and silent auction, raffles and Open Your Heart donations, to help raise additional funds for the organization. Last year the Gala raised $720,000. This year, the Gala raised a record amount, netting $750,000.  Funds from this year’s Gala will allow COH to hire more clinicians and expand grief support services within Ohio and beyond in 2023.

Highlights from this year’s Gala included Country Line Dancing by Nick Morris and a moving and powerful testimony from speaker and former client, Kodi Pride. Kodi’s daughter, Lorelle Faith, passed away at the age of 6½ years old due to complications from a rare condition, Trisomy 13.

“…When I read the story of Mark & Christi (Tripodi) and why Cornerstone was founded, I knew it was the place for us to get counseling. When I saw “Never Grieve Alone” on their website, I knew I wanted to be part of that world,” Kodi shared.

Additionally, every year Cornerstone of Hope honors a different Champion of Hope who has given above and beyond to the organization. This year, COH honored Maria & Angelo Petitti (Petitti Garden Centers) as the 2022 Champion of Hope. Former Champions of Hope were invited to attend a special induction ceremony early in the evening’s festivities.

“The Petitti family was instrumental in the site development of Cornerstone of Hope when we moved into our new center in 2008, providing truckloads and I do mean truckloads of trees, boxwoods, evergreen plants, flowers and ornamental grasses. Their support and generosity has continued to evolve as our ministry has grown. Maria and Angelo Petitti have enormous, compassionate hearts for those who suffer loss. Their authentic care for those who grieve is so natural because they treat everyone like family. They have never forgotten their Italian roots and through their own grief journeys truly understand and empathize with those who seek help at Cornerstone of Hope,” explains Mark Tripodi, CEO and Founder.

Presenting Sponsors this year included Busch Funeral and Crematory Services, Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP, CBIZ Retirement Plan Services, DiGeronimo Companies, Down to Earth Landscaping, Electronic Merchant Systems, Enerco Group Inc. (Cynthia and Allen Haire), Kurtz Bros., Inc., Minute Men Staffing/888-Ohio Comp, Petitti Garden Centers, Premier Truck Sales & Rental, Inc., Quasar Energy Group, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.  

Cornerstone of Hope is a nonprofit comprehensive bereavement support center that has served Northeast Ohio communities for the past 19 years. Cornerstone of Hope is dedicated to providing counseling, support, and education to grieving children, teens and adults. Therapy and Christian counseling services, support groups, children’s grief camps, and professional trainings are conducted by Master’s level, licensed clinicians who have extensive experience working with grief and trauma. All of Cornerstone’s support services are offered at an affordable cost. For more information and contact details for each office location, visit

Download Press Release →