Boca Grande’s Hope For Haitians Nears Housing Goal at Annual Event

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Feb. 14, 2017)  The Boca Grande Hope For Haitians Committee is halfway to reaching its fundraising goal for 130 homes. Thanks to the generous support of a record number of guests who attended the eighth annual Boca Grande Hope For Haitians cocktail and hors d'oeuvres reception at the Gasparilla Inn Beach Club in Boca Grande, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017.

Boca Grande Hope For Haitians got an early start on its fundraising goal for the homes in Gressier, Haiti, in December during "A Home for the Holidays" fundraiser sponsored by the Rotary Club in Piqua, Ohio. That event raised enough money to build 15 homes, which resulted in 30 homes, thanks to a housing match.

Boca Grande Hope For Haitians came close to its goal of 50 homes during last week's event, but is still fundraising. When matched, the 50 will double to 100 new homes, which will meet the Boca Grande Hope For Haitians' overall goal of 130 homes for families in Haiti.

Co-Chairperson Ben Scott is extremely thankful for the support he and the committee are receiving.

"I wish I could express in words the way Haiti and the people there take hold of your heart. To see families relocated from areas of inhumane living conditions to a safe new home is hard to comprehend," said Scott. "Because of your support families will be relocated from Alpha Village to the new community in Gressier, Haiti. Thank you all so much and God bless you for being here."

Guests who attended the eighth annual event also participated in a silent auction that featured beautifully handcrafted artwork from Haiti, including an art piece by well-known Haitian painter Fritz Rock. The colorful painting was donated by Florida couple Paul and Lorraine Hiznay, who attended the event.

Many of the guests were moved to tears after keynote speaker Lesly Clervil, Haiti Project Manager of Food For The Poor, shared his story of the tragic loss of his beloved mother, five family members and a family friend killed in the earthquake of 2010. Clervil's words turned joyful when he expressed his deep gratitude for the generosity of the Boca Grande community and their commitment of helping families in Haiti, which resulted in a standing ovation.

"We are a resilient people because we always believe that God will get us through. This is our faith. With the help of God, what you are doing is changing lives in Haiti," said Clervil. "I want to take this time and thank you all from my heart on behalf of the Haitian people. You are giving them hope for the future by your giving."

Click for the photo gallery of the evening's event.

Committee members include: Chairpersons Ben and Louise Scott, the Rev. Gary Beatty, the Rev. Jerome Carosella, the Rev. Michelle Robertshaw, the Rev. Matthew M. Williams, Henry and Ginny Bryant, George and Lois Castrucci, Patricia Chapman, Charlie and Florita Field, Lou and Corie Fusz, Stephen and Susan Jansen, Mick and Susan Johnson, Tom and Nancy Lorden, Colvin and Madelaine McCrady, and Peter and Elsa Soderberg.

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily 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. Over the last 10 years, fundraising and other administrative costs averaged less than 5 percent of our expenses; more than 95 percent of all donations went directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit

Wanda Wright

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079