Boca Grande Committee is Impacting Lives, One Village at a Time in Haiti

Ben and Louise Scott are the chairmen of Boca Grande's Hope For Haitians Committee, which is currently fundraising to build its fourth village in Haiti with Food For The Poor.
Ben and Louise Scott are the chairmen of Boca Grande's Hope For Haitians Committee, which is currently fundraising to build its fourth village in Haiti with Food For The Poor.

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COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Feb. 25, 2014) – On Thursday, Feb. 20, Ben Scott addressed Boca Grande Committee members and nearly 100 enthusiastic guests at the historic Gasparilla Inn Beach Club in Boca Grande, Fla. He spoke about the plans of building a fourth community of 32 two-room homes with water and sanitation in the poor Haitian community of Pon Batay, which will include the following:

  • Two solar-powered street lamps
  • 32 goats, one per household in the community. The residents also will be properly trained on how to care for the animals.
  • 32 individual solar-powered lamps, one per household.  

“I was very pleased with the enthusiasm of everyone who attended this year’s reception. This project has truly become a humanitarian success, and I encouraged everyone to consider buying a house for a family in Pon Batay,” said Scott, Chairman of the Boca Grande Hope for Haitians Committee.  “For most here on Boca Grande Island, a donation of $6,400 to buy a house in Haiti would not change their lifestyle. However, for a family in Haiti receiving a house, that would make a huge impact on that family’s lifestyle and for generations to come.”

Scott wasn’t the only one to address the guests at this year’s reception. Guest speaker Fr. Tony Palazzolo used humor and his dynamic personality to share a message of gratitude. Fr. Tony was invited to address the committee by Scott, who first heard him speak in 2012 at St. Mary's Catholic Church, his summer parish, in Lake Leelanau, Mich. It may have taken two years, but Fr. Tony did not disappoint.  

 “It was an honor to be in the company of this most impressive gathering of lovely people who have given of their time to address the needs of the poorest of the poor in Haiti, not only with their compassionate hearts, but with extraordinary generosity,” said Fr. Tony. “The prayers of gratitude are flowing from the hearts of every Haitian the Boca Grande Committee has helped to bless. It is my prayer that the joy, peace, and inner spiritual satisfaction beyond your wildest dreams will be with them all.”

Fr. Tony also thanked the committee members for their plans to include upgrades to Boca Grande’s first two Friendship Villages. In Pierre Payen, a wall and play area will be built for the elementary school, and in Michaud, two transitional dormitories for 20 boys and 20 girls who have aged-out of the orphanage care programs and a medical clinic will be constructed.

Last month, Hope for Haitians Chairman, Ben Scott, returned to Haiti with Food For The Poor, revisiting the people who first inspired him five years ago to build not one, but three villages with the support of the Boca Grande Hope For Haitians Committee members. Today, some 135 homes later, families in Pierre Payen, Michaud, and Manneville have taken this gift of opportunity and created thriving communities for themselves and their children. 

Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor’s Executive Director, traveled to Haiti with Scott and provided some additional insight about the people living in the various villages Boca Grande has built through the international relief and development organization.

“The people of Haiti are some of the most resourceful and hard working people I’ve ever met. All they really want is an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families,” said Aloma. “These villages supported by the Boca Grande Committee are beautiful, but what they represent is hope, which is a priceless gift.” 

To see the heart-warming progress of some of the families living in the villages built by the Boca Grande Committee and the dire need of families in Pon Batay click here.

Scott ended the event with a quote from Pope Francis: “… he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor."

The Boca Grande Committee has been working through Food For The Poor to build homes in Haiti since 2009.

Committee members include: Chairmen Ben and Louise Scott, the Rev. Gary Beatty, the Rev. Brian Brightly, the Rev. Jerome Carosella, the Rev. Michelle Robertshaw, George and Lois Castrucci, Patricia Chapman, Ray and Iliene Corcoran, Randy and Sue Eddy, Charlie and Florita Field, Evelyn Finnegan, Lou and Corie Fusz, Stephen and Susan Jansen, Mick and Susan Johnson, Tom and Nancy Lorden, Colvin and Madelaine McCrady, Peter and Elsa Soderberg.

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 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit

Wanda Wright

Food For The Poor
Public Relations Associate
954-427-2222 x 6079