KENILWORTH, NJ - More than 250 people packed the Galloping Hill Golf Course on Thursday night for "An Evening of Thanks," an event to honor the 2013 Union County Family Service Award recipients.
People representing every segment of the community, from mayors and other officials to business leaders and volunteers, came together to show support for Homefirst's mission in alleviating homelessness in Union County and surrounding areas. Assemblyman Jon Bramnick served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event and Union County Freeholder Al Mirabella was the Honorary Chair of the festivities.
Award recipients including Ralph Bernardo of Clark; Edith Coogan of Cranford; Jim Grover from Fanwood; Dolores Hynes from Linden; Sigrid Patsch of Mountainside; Ruth Robina from New Providence; Sarah Cherry Cadogan of Plainfield; Jacqueline Mitchell of Roselle; Laura Swidersky of Scotch Plains; Lisa and Peter McNamara from Westfield and Frank Anderson of Winfield. Sponsors of the event included Lead Sponsors Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company; Bramnick, Rodriguez, Mitterhoff, Grabas & Woodward, LLC; and Ellen Catlin. Sponsors included TheAlternativePress.com, Amy Yin Interiors, Steven and Marybeth Lapham and Casey and Priscilla Woodruff.
Mirabella told TheAlternativePress.com, "I really believe in the mission of Homefirst and was very proud to be the Honorary Chairman of the Evening of Thanks event. Union County is very lucky to have an organization that is focused on helping the homeless and working with people to improve lives." "I appreciate the many people who came out to support Homefirst - particularly the honorees - I was inspired to hear their stories and how they have worked to improve the community," he added.
Homefirst, a leader in Union County in assisting families experiencing homelessness and preventing homelessness, began in Plainfield in 1986. Today, the organization serves over 1,500 adults and children each year in Union County and beyond. Homefirst provides transitional and permanent housing, homeless prevention assistance and family support services to strengthen families and build communities.
Casey Woodruff, President of the Board of Trustees of Homefirst, said, "It was wonderful to have so many people come together in the spirit of giving to support our mission to end homelessness."
Woodruff concluded, "We at Homefirst are grateful to our many friends -- donors, volunteers, elected officials – whose support allows us to continue to serve the homeless families in Union County."