Catch a Tropical Breeze, a Sold-out Event, Provides Haitians with a Fresh Start-in-life

*NOTE TO REPORTERS: Interviews are available with Tom Lorden, Pat Bachrodt, Peter Roche (Event Co-Chairmen), and Angel Aloma (Food For The Poor's Executive Director).

ROCKFORD, Ill. (Sept. 3, 2008) - The Hope for Haitians Committee and Food For The Poor recently held its seventh-annual event, Catch a Tropical Breeze, at the Rockford Country Club to raise funds for “Rockford Friendship Village” in Prolonge, Haiti

Proceeds from the 2008 and 2007 galas have been used to establish the Rockford Friendship Village, including the construction of 100 housing units, 50 sanitation units, three artesian wells, a community center, three tilapia ponds, start-in-life projects, a solar panel light, and the implementation of a feeding program for severely malnourished children, elderly and families of the village.

“The Hope for Haitians Committee has raised approximately $1 million dollars since 2000 to benefit people of Haiti,” said Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor’s Executive Director.
“Food For The Poor, the largest provider of aid to Haiti, feeds and shelters millions of destitute children and their families in Haiti.”

Progress and growth:
- 2006: More than 50,000 people received the gift of life saving water when 30 water wells were built in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. 
- 2005: Funds raised enabled 70,000 people in Gonaives to have access to clean water. A total of 18 water wells and 125 hand pumps were provided.
- 2004: Proceeds built 17 wells that provide clean water for 120,000 people in Cap-Haitien, Limonade and Plaine du Nord.
- 2003: Approximately 27,000 people in three different communities (Duval, Petionville, and Barbancourt) were given access to clean, safe drinking water.
- 2002: Completed the Dubois Water Project in Port-de-Paix, which directly affected 3,000 people.
- 2001: Built a housing project in Cotes-de-Fer that consisted of 50 housing units.
Haiti’s devastating food crisis captured the hearts of Americans when the Associated Press reported that “mud cookies,” made from clay, bouillon, oil and salt were being eaten by desperately hungry Haitians. These mud cookies have unfortunately become one of the only means of quelling a child’s hunger pangs for many poor mothers. The Rockford Feeding Program, in Prolonge Cap-Haitien provides hot and nutritious meals to impoverished children, seniors and families. Recipients will consume a healthy diet of rice, beans, vegetables, pork and chicken. 

This year’s sold-out event offered guests the opportunity to bid on silent auction items, including items from the countries served by Food For The Poor. One of the event highlights was a fulfillment video that gave guests the opportunity to see how funds from the 2007 gala were used to provide Haitians with a fresh start-in-life. 

Tom Lorden, Pat Bachrodt, and Peter Roche serve as the Event Co-Chairmen for Catch a Tropical Breeze. Lorden, Bachrodt, and Roche traveled with Food For The Poor on a pilgrimage to Haiti, where they witnessed firsthand the devastating living conditions of the poor.

Committee members include: Pat Bachrodt, Reverend David Beauvais, Kathy Caruana, William Clancy, Mike Delany, Brian and Missy Hand, Tom and Nancy Lorden, Bob McLaughlin, Al and Terry Provenzano, Patti Rangel, Gerry and Judy Risch, Pete Roche, and Jody Schumacher.

Catch a Tropical Breeze sponsors, include: AAA Quality Limo; Al and Terry Provenzano Charitable Foundation; Amcore Bank; Automotive Solutions, Inc.; CMFI Group; Comerica Bank; Crowe Chizek & Co. LLC; Eckburg & Bates Insurance; Focus Financial Advisors; Holy Family Church; Kelley Williamson Company; Lindgren, Callihan, Van Osdol; Lorden Charitable Foundation; Missy and Brian Hand; Morrissey Law Offices; Mr. and Mrs. Michael Delany; Mary Lou and Bob McLauglin; Morrissey Family Business; MPEC; Papa John's - Ralph Baudhuin Foundation; Powmet, Inc.; R.C. and Rhonda Pottinger; Rebecca Dunsworth Newton; Resource Dealer Group, Inc.; Risch Family Foundation; Riverside Community Bank; Savant Capital; Scandroli Construction Co; St. James Church; The Lou Bachrodt Auto Group; The Peter Roche Family; Thomas and Lesley Killoren; Verizon Wireless; Warner Specialized Petroleum; William and Catherine Clancy; and Wilson Electric.

Food For The Poor, the second-largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 16 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. We provide emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96% of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For additional information, please visit the Web site at  


Jennifer Leigh Oates
Food for the Poor
(954) 427-2222 x 6054

Tom Lorden
Event Co-Chairman
(815) 964-1904