Hope For A Better Life
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Hope For A Better Life, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization committed to improving the lives of adults and children of Northeast Florida. Our mission is to improve our community by supporting a local organization or cause. Founded in 2015 by Dr. Mary Pentel and Dr. Sayra Sievert, this organization is run by a group of local volunteers.



Each year we select a topic that is important to our community, we help raise awareness, and help support that cause through our annual fundraiser.

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Organizations that we have helped include Hubbard House (domestic violence) and Rethreaded (human trafficking). In addition to local organizations we also raise funds to educate the community about important topics such as suicide, depression, and opioid addiction.

Learn more about our past programs.



Each year we host a benefit event to raise money for a local organization.

Our annual benefit event changes each year along with our cause.

Our past events have included a comedy zone, a fashion show, and a casino night.

Learn more about this year’s event.



Along with our annual benefit events, we work to raise awareness for that year’s cause.

We identify the often overlooked needs of our community and aim to bring them to light.



Not only do we raise money and awareness for our causes, but we also like to get hands-on. Often we conduct smaller projects to provide additional support for our cause. Past projects have included collecting and distributing purses for survivors of domestic violence, hosting a seminar on suicide, and distributing opioid addiction handbooks.



We are grateful for the commitment and support of our executive committee and volunteers.


Our current committee members include:

Mary Pentel, MD, President

Sayra Sievert, MD

Thanh Hogan, PharmD

Jennifer Nelowet

Irene Cywes-Wolfe

Sue Stepp

Karen Duncan

Pamela Phillips

Sharon Atkinson

Amy Curley

Denise Gaizantis

Bonnie Brady

Terry Walton

Michelle Blount

Paula Larsen



Dr. Mary Pentel founded HFBL as a result her upbringing. She immigrated to the United States at a young age and spent most of her childhood at Milton Hershey School. During her early years she was exposed to people that supported her family financially and emotionally. Her life was enriched by the generosity and philanthropic legacy of Milton Hershey. Experiences such as this showed her how important it is to help those that are less fortunate. She feels that it is important to give back to your community no matter how large or small a contribution. That contribution can be supporting a cause that you like or volunteering. Working as a volunteer for Hope For A Better Life is her way of giving back to her community and honoring the generosity of the people that have enriched her life.