Opening Doors for Hope


By Todd Camp

One-time rivals became big-time collaborators thanks to a little cooperation and an open heart.

When Turtle Creek Chorale won the IKEA Life Improvement Challenge, they had a chance to sit down with their top competitor and something wonderful happened.

“We had a lunch where Turtle Creek Chorale was so kind to offer to do a benefit concert for us to make up for our loss,” says Valerie Schmitt, Manager of Marketing Strategies with Hope’s Door, a Plano-based support organization for victims of domestic violence. “It’s kind of funny that competition brings you around full circle and in the end, you’re working together toward a good cause.”

Hope’s Door is certainly a worthwhile cause, and their collaboration with the Chorale on an Oct. 11 benefit show couldn’t be better timed, with October being Domestic Violence Awareness month.

“The mission of Hope’s Door is to help entire families that are affected by domestic violence,” Valerie explains. They have an emergency shelter with 21 beds, offer free counseling, provide educational programs, as well as free legal support for victims of domestic violence and counseling services for abusers.

“Our funding needs are huge. Last year, we took in more than 400 individuals at our shelter and had to turn away more than 300,” Valerie says. “There’s always a need for us to grow in order to meet with the ever-growing need of domestic violence victims in Collin and Dallas counties.”

TCC’s Associate Conductor Sean Baugh is equally excited about the collaboration that will also include select members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. “It’s going to be a really nice evening of diverse music,” Sean says, adding that the performance will highlight some Chorale individuals as well as duets and trios. “It’s a bit more of an intimate type of feel.”

Valerie explains that the much-needed funds raised will help the organization expand its staff to cater to the growing demand for help while improving their shelter to allow them to take on more individuals.

If you’re unable to attend but still want to help Hope’s Door, you can make online donations at, stop by their administrative office (860 F. Ave., Suite 100) in Plano, or shop at the Hope’s Door Resale Store (3000 Custer Road, Suite 220). They also have donation drives and other ways you can give throughout the year.

Valerie reiterated that getting the message out was of utmost importance. “Our ultimate hope is that at least it starts the conversation and lets people know that there are resources available to them,” she says. “I think that before even money that’s the biggest need of all.”

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