FFP's Gala "Seeds of Hope" to benefit housing in Haiti

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2009) – Food For The Poor, the foremost international relief and development organization serving the Caribbean and Latin America, celebrated its14th annual Seeds of Hope gala on Saturday, February 7, 2009, at the Boca West Country Club. The evening began with an extensive silent auction, followed by a gourmet dinner, dancing and a special performance by vocalist Madison M. McIntosh.

Master of ceremonies for Seeds of Hope was Emmy Award-winning newscaster Calvin Hughes. Hughes serves as the weekday morning and noon news anchor at WPLG-TV Local 10 (ABC) News. In August 2008, Hughes accompanied dignitaries from Miami-Dade County as they traveled to Haiti with Food For The Poor representatives to distribute nonperishable items at Food For The Poor’s feeding center in Port-au-Prince.

The gala focused on the dire housing needs in Haiti that were compounded by the grueling 2008 hurricane season. Housing has been a top priority for Food For The Poor, with more than 54,000 housing units given to the poor. By providing simple, sturdy homes to the poorest of the poor, we can change the lives of entire families by giving them the security of a safe, dry place to live.

With the money raised at the event, more than 50 housing units will be built for the poor in Haiti.

South Florida residents whose generosity and dedication to the organization have been inspirational were honored as Ambassadors for the Poor. Honorees included Dennis and Jennifer Charley, the Rev. Marty Devereaux, Michael and Kathryn Feanny, Calvin Hughes, Dr. Ben and the Rev. Sally Kennedy, Alvaro and Barbara Pereira, Raymond and Leonor Ripoll, Mark Schulhof, and Gerald and Kathy Stevens.

The event chairs for Seeds of Hope were Robin and Gail Mahfood. Robin has been involved with Food For The Poor since its founding in 1982, and currently serves as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Under his management, Florida’s largest charity has doubled in size every three years, and has maintained a remarkable operating cost ratio – under 4 percent.
Event sponsors included Aljoma Lumber, American Nicaraguan Foundation, Dennis Charley & Associates, Inc., The Pereira Family, Quadriga Art, Inc., Seaboard Marine, and United Healthcare.

Food For The Poor, Florida’s largest charity and the largest international relief and development organization in the United States, serves the poor of the Caribbean, Latin America and the U.S. Food For The Poor provides food, emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, basic housing, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. More than 96 percent of all donations received in 2008 went to programs that help the poor. For more information, visit www.foodforthepoor.org.

Jennifer Oates
(954) 427-2222 x 6054