Kate Miliken and The Alternate Routes Inspire Center for HOPE Luncheon Crowd


Elaine Ubina

Kate Milliken

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Motivational speaker and entrepreneur Kate Milliken delivered an inspirational keynote address at the 2017 Center for HOPE luncheon last week.

Elaine Ubina

Kate Milliken

The event was held May 16 at the Wee Burn Beach Club in Rowayton.


— an announcement from Family Centers’ Center for Hope


Milliken learned she had MS in 2006, and shared personal accounts of her journey as she came to grips with her diagnosis.

Upon learning of her condition, she saw a need for a moment-based, authentic platform to show others what it was like to actually live with an illness.

She started the online support forum, MyCounterpane, not only as a vehicle to share her own struggles, but also to stimulate conversation and inspire others to educate the public on MS and other illnesses through short movies.

Elaine Ubina

The Alternate Routes

Nationally touring recording artists, The Alternate Routes, were also presented a Ray of HOPE Award for their work in using music as a vehicle for healing.

Songwriters Tim Warren and Eric Donnelly have always been drawn to universal themes of redemption, loss and the confusion and madness within the heart. In 2013, the band composed the song “Nothing More” following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

Since its release, the song was featured in the season finale of NCIS, and during the final act of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Sochi.

Elaine Ubina

From left to right: Eric Donnelley, Kate Clark, Merrilou Hillenbrand, Kate Milliken, Meg Critchell, Tim Warren


The 2017 Center for HOPE Luncheon was co-chaired by Kate Clark, Meg Critchell and Merrilou Hillenbrand and raised $135,000. All proceeds from the event benefitted the Center for HOPE and The Den for Grieving Kids, Family Centers’ programs offering counseling and support to residents of lower Fairfield County coping with a loss, a critical illness or life-altering circumstance.

Family Centers is a private, nonprofit organization offering education and human services to children, adults and families in Fairfield County. More than 300 professionals and 3,500 trained volunteers work together to provide a wide range of responsive, innovative programs.

A United Way, Community Fund of Darien and New Canaan Community Foundation partner agency, Family Centers is a member of the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies and the Alliance for Children and Families and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The agency is licensed by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health. Visit www.familycenters.org or www.facebook.com/familycentersinc for additional information.

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