Event Spurs Generosity, Gains Momentum for Boca Grande Friendship Village in Haiti

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (March 17, 2010) – It was standing room only inside the Power House Boca Bay Pass Club on March 9, as more than 200 guests attended the premier fundraiser for the Boca Grande Friendship Village. The 25 committee members, their friends and neighbors raised nearly half of the total amount needed to build and complete the village in Haiti that will bear the Southwest Florida island’s name. The group is working with Food For The Poor, the largest international charity in the United States.

“Louise and I are thrilled with the event and the high turnout,” said Ben Scott, Sr., chairman of the committee. “Many residents did not know how much work Food For The Poor does to serve the poor in Haiti and it was wonderful to have them here listening, and gaining awareness. It is clear that the immense need in Haiti resonates with a lot of those who live on Boca Grande. Most people here want to help, and we thank God for that.”

The event began with a cocktail reception just before sunset, followed by a presentation by Scott, committee member Tom Lorden, and Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma. Lorden described to the audience some of what he has seen on his several trips to Haiti. Many had never traveled to the poverty-stricken country.

“It is difficult for us to imagine, some of the people in Haiti do not have anything, their homes are made of wooden sticks, and rags,” said Lorden. “It’s hard for us to fathom, but this is the reality for the poor in Haiti.”

Aloma spoke to the group about his experiences in Haiti, relating heart-breaking stories about the suffering of the poor there.

“The rainy season has begun in Haiti,” said Aloma. “ All of us in Florida are well aware hurricane season begins on June 1. This is why we are focused on constructing adequate housing. Haiti needs this village, and we are extremely grateful to the generous and compassionate Boca Grande residents who are helping to provide it.”

By the end of the evening, event attendees pledged several more double and single-homes, fruit trees and general donations toward the village. By the next morning, Scott was given a generous donation- enough to pay for the community’s electrical charging system- by one of the event guests. The electrical charging system will provide power for the community center, which will include a library, office space and sanitation facilities.

The committee continues to accept donations from Boca Grande residents. Scott and Lorden posted a thermometer-type sign beside a board detailing the village’s components on the wall outside of the island’s U.S. Post Office, on W. Railroad Ave. and Fourth Street. Scott and Lorden will record their fundraising efforts on the board, and island residents can keep up with their latest results.

The Boca Grande Friendship Village will provide approximately 240 people with safe housing, clean water, sanitation, agriculture, including 500 avocado, mango and citrus trees, animal husbandry and a community chicken farm, a community center and a solar charging system for electricity. For more information and to donate to the Boca Grande Friendship Village please visit www.foodforthepoor.org/bocagrande, and call (888) 404.4248.

Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the United States, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides 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 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.foodforthepoor.org.

Aimee Vignola
Public Relations
(954) 427-2222 x 6079