Boca Committee Members Committed to Building Hope in Haiti

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Jan. 10, 2012) — One way South Floridians can keep Haiti on the radar and continue to help the rebuilding progress is to attend Food For The Poor’s annual Building Hope Gala on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 at The Polo Club of Boca Raton.

In November, seven committee members from the Boca Raton/Lighthouse Point communities traveled to Haiti with Food For The Poor. While in-country, the committee members decided this year’s Building Hope Gala goal would be to raise enough money to construct 100 housing units, a community center, and to initiate an animal husbandry project to include 20 cows in Olivier, Deuxieme Plaine, Haiti.

Kara Seelye leaps across an open sewer in a marshy slum in Cite Soleil, Haiti.

“It was a very sad day, but a great experience – a life adjusting experience,” said Rene Mahfood, the event’s Honorary Chairperson after her first day in Haiti. “What we saw today puts everything in perspective. You think about how expensive life is back home and all the things you can’t afford. Then you realize that all those material things don’t matter. None of it matters. All that matters is having a roof over your head, being able to clothe your children and having food to eat.”

Attendees will be invited to create a legacy by pledging to build critically needed houses during the charity’s live house-rally. For additional information regarding the Building Hope Gala, sponsorship levels, and tickets, available at $225 per person, please visit

“We’re blessed,” said Ronda Gluck, Event Co-Chairperson, after she visited a family in Cité Soleil who will soon receive a new Food For The Poor house. “We have no idea the luxuries we live in, compared to this house. I feel terrible. These families are blessed to be receiving a home.”

Travelers included Ronda Gluck, Rene Mahfood, Becky Carlsson, Julie Mahfood, Allison Venditti,Traci Wilson, and Kara Seelye.

Additional committee members include Cathy & Abdol Moabery (Event Co-Chairpersons), David Gluck (Event Co-Chairperson), Francis Mahfood (Honorary Chairperson), Ronda Ellis Ged, Michele Greene, Pamela Matsil, Natasha Singh, and Patricia Wallace.

“Hundreds of thousands of displaced Haitians have been forced to live under tarps and tents for almost two years,” said Robin Mahfood, Food For The Poor’s President/CEO, who traveled with members of the Boca committee. “As a result of these inhumane living conditions, the spread of disease and waterborne illnesses have thrived, causing even more devastation.”  

Media master of ceremonies will be Calvin Hughes, an Emmy Award-winning newscaster for WPLG-TV ABC Local 10 News. For years, he has reported how nonprofits such as Food For The Poor continue to improve lives and living conditions throughout the country.

(L to R) Ronda Gluck, Julie Mahfood, Rene Mahfood, Traci Wilson, Becky Carlsson, Kara Seelye and Allison Venditti.

Event sponsors include Gregory’s Fine Jewelry, Arrigo Fiat of West Palm Beach, TD Bank, N.A., Regal Home Health, Premier Aircraft Sales, American Nicaraguan Foundation, Jeffery and Agnes Stoops, Dennis Charley & Associates, Quadriga Art. Inc, Haiti Shipping Lines, Seaboard Marine Ltd., Dusco Doors, The Pereira Family, Bernuth Agencies, Boca Home Care Services, Comerica Bank, The Ross Group of UBS, Mailing Service of Pittsburg, and Jox Sox.

Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry 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

Jennifer Leigh Oates
Food For The Poor
Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054