Building Hope Gala Committee Members Travel to Haiti to Open Doors
From left, Becky Carlsson, Kara Seelye, Allison Venditti and LaMae Klos walk with hundreds of grateful new homeowners in Olivier, Haiti.
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2012) — Building Hope Gala committee members from the Boca Raton and Parkland communities traveled to Haiti Oct. 8-9 with the South Florida-based nonprofit Food For The Poor. They were celebrating the inauguration of newly constructed homes, built with proceeds from February’s gala, giving 50 families a new start in life.
“It is so great to know that our gala was able to build safe and secure homes for the people of Olivier,” said Becky Carlsson, gala committee member. “Because Haiti has been out of the media for a while, I think that people don’t realize that the devastation still exists. You should come and see it with your own eyes.”
In November 2011, committee members traveled to Olivier, Haiti, to see the community’s deplorable living conditions and to learn how they could help the nonprofit improve the residents’ lives.
“It’s really nice to be able to see something that you worked so hard toward,” said Allison Venditti, gala committee member. “There’s so much energy in this village. I got the impression that they feel powerful now and they believe they can do anything.”
“I was unsure what to expect,” said LaMae Klos after her first day in Haiti. “What impressed me the most was the pride on the people’s faces. It was incredibly moving.”
Since the 2010 earthquake, Food For The Poor has built more than 3,899 permanent two-room homes in Haiti. Tropical Storm Isaac’s recent path through the Caribbean reminded many how vulnerable the poor are who live in tents and makeshift shacks.
“It was important for members of the committee to return to Olivier to rejoice with villagers on the completion of their village in only five months,” said Robin Mahfood, Food For The Poor’s President/CEO. “The conditions that we have found so many needy children and their families living in are heart wrenching and unimaginable.”
The 2013 Building Hope Gala will be Saturday, February 2, at The Polo Club of Boca Raton. Attendees will be invited to create a legacy by pledging to build critically needed houses in Jamaica during the charity’s live house-rally.
Master of ceremonies, Jason Martinez, co-anchor for WPLG-TV ABC Local 10 Morning News and Local 10 News at Noon, traveled to Jamaica in August to cover the island’s golden jubilee.
“I saw the poverty with my own eyes and there is much work needed to be done to provide housing and assistance to the people of Jamaica,” said Martinez.
For additional information regarding the 2013 Building Hope Gala, sponsorship levels, and tickets, available at $250 per person, please call 1-888-404-4248 or visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/boca.
The Building Hope Gala committee will host a pre-event on Dec. 6, in time for the holiday season. Join the committee for champagne and hors d’oeuvres at Gregory’s Fine Jewelry in Delray Beach’s The Addison Shops to purchase a dazzling piece of jewelry for your loved ones. A portion of the proceeds from sales will be donated toward the gala’s home building efforts in Jamaica.
Committee members for the 2013 Building Hope Gala include Laurie Braden, Kelly Brauner, Becky Carlsson, Melissa Davimos, Ronda Ellis Ged, Ronda Gluck, Michele Greene, LaMae Klos, Robin Ranzal Knowles, Julie Mahfood, Rene Mahfood, Pamela Matsil, Cathy Moabery, Jill Perea, Tashia Rahl, Kara Seelye, Natasha Singh, Renee Stetler, Holly Strogoff, Allison Venditti, Patricia Wallace, and Traci Wilson.
Gala sponsors include Aljoma Lumber, AKA Printing and Mailing, American Nicaraguan Foundation, Bluegreen Corporation, Dennis Charley & Associates, Inc., Dusco Doors, Franklin Dodd Communications, Gregory’s Fine Jewelry, Haiti Shipping Lines, Inc., Quadriga Art, LLC, Seaboard Marine, TD Bank, and VITAS Innovative Hospice Care.
Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as 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 www.FoodForThePoor.org.
Jennifer Leigh Oates
Food For The Poor
954-427-2222 x 6054