Rockford Residents Celebrate the Expansion of Their Biggest Village Yet in Haiti

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Rockford residents visited Food For The Poor-built homes in the Hope for Haitians Board's Christian Friendship Village in Terrier Rouge, Haiti, in February 2014.
Rockford residents visited Food For The Poor-built homes in the Hope for Haitians Board's Christian Friendship Village in Terrier Rouge, Haiti, in February 2014.

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COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Sept. 25, 2014) – Thanks to the compassion of northern Illinois residents at the 13th annual An Evening in the Tropics on Saturday, Sept. 6, enough money was raised to expand the Pope Francis Friendship Village in Dumas, Haiti. The gala was presented by the Hope for Haitians Board and Food For The Poor.

Funds raised at the event will be used to build safe, permanent Food For The Poor homes for 20 more families in Dumas. Additional money raised will be used to complete the second phase of the village, which includes 30 more two-room homes and a water filtration unit.

Tom Lorden, a Founding Trustee of the Hope for Haitians Board of Directors, thanked the approximately 300 attendees for their generous donations, allowing more families than ever before to receive support.
Money to complete phase one of the village, was raised by the generous participants of the Hope for Haitians Board’s Lenten Program. Phase one will include the construction of new homes for 40 families in Dumas, complete with kitchenettes, latrines, and solar lanterns. Additionally, the money needed to build the planned community center and a cassava bakery was raised. These facilities will be available to the more than 1,500 residents who reside in the area. The Association For The Development of Dumas (ADD) will assist farmers in marketing and selling the products produced at the bakery. 

During An Evening in the Tropics, the Hope for Haitians Board members presented a statue of Christ as a beggar to priests on behalf of their parishioners’ generous, sacrificial giving during the Lenten season. Recipients of the Ambassador For The Poor awards included: Reverend Richard Rosinski, pastor of St. Thomas More in Elgin, Ill.; The Very Reverend Stephen St. Jules, V.F., Rector of The Cathedral of St. Peter, Rockford; Reverend Timothy J. Seigel, pastor of St. Gall in Elburn, Ill.; and Reverend Edward Seisser, pastor of St. Catherine of Siena in Dundee, Ill.

Master of ceremonies for this year’s An Evening in the Tropics was veteran broadcast journalist Mike Robinson. Rev. St. Jules delivered the invocation. The evening also featured a cocktail reception, silent auction, and a formal dinner with friends and members of the surrounding communities. Bidding on silent auction prizes such as electronics, jewelry, vacations, golf and dining packages offered opportunities for guests to shop and support the cause.

In addition to bidding on silent auction items, the attendees learned about Food For The Poor’s ongoing projects in Haiti from the testimonials of Rockford residents who traveled to Haiti in February 2014, and guest presenter, Delane Bailey-Herd, Food For The Poor’s Haiti Project Manager.

Bailey-Herd said it was an honor to celebrate with attendees as they raised money to transform people’s lives by building their biggest village yet.

“I strongly believe that from the villages you are helping us (Food For The Poor) create, will come forth Haiti’s leaders – men and women of great character and integrity,” said Bailey-Herd.

“On behalf of Haiti’s children, I want to thank you for providing safe homes, clean water, sanitation and food,” said Destiny, Bailey-Herd’s 6-year-old daughter.

For additional information, please call 1-888-404-4248 or visit

Members of the Hope for Haitians Board include: Pat Bachrodt, the Rev. David Beauvais, Virginia Canavan, William Clancy, Patti Cottrell, Michael Delany, Bill Derry, Bill Kalma, Danny Lorden, Tom and Nancy Lorden, Bob McLaughlin, Greg McQueary, Philip Nicolosi, Peter Roche, Andy Schultheis, and the Rev. Geoff Wirth.

Gala sponsors include Dick and Marg Bachrodt, Lou Bachrodt Auto Group, Lou Bachrodt Foundation, Dr. Errol and Rosemary Baptist, Paul and Annette Baudhuin, Buff and Lorrie Blackler, Comerica, William and Catherine Clancy, Tom and Mary Costello, Crowe Horwath, Mike and Colleen Delany, Tony and Jean Domino, Rebecca Dunsworth, Field Fasteners, Focus Financial, Joseph Geraghty, Giovanni’s Restaurant, Brian and Missy Hand, Msgr. Robert Hoffman Estate, JP Jewelers, JPS Inc., Kelley Williamson Company, Thomas and Lesley Killoren, Joseph and Antoinette Logli, Lorden Charitable Foundation, Robert and Mary Lou McLaughlin, James and Carole Mounier, MPEC, OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, Penske Truck Leasing, R.C. and Rhonda Pottinger, Risch Family Foundation, Peter and Sandy Roche and Family, St. Rita Church, Savant Capital Management, Fern Shore, Phil and Paula Turner, Msgr. Raymond Wahl, The Warranty Group, and WIPFLi HEWINS.

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

Jennifer Leigh Oates

Food For The Poor
Public Relations Associate
954-427-2222 x 6054