SUMMIT, NJ - Family Promise’s annual Fall Fling, which supports the organization's mission to mobilize communities and empower families experiencing homelessness into sustainable independence, has generated $250,000 for the Summit-based national nonprofit.
Nadim Ahmed, President of the Hematology & Oncology Franchise for Celgene and a new member of the Family Promise Board of Trustees, acted as emcee of the Roaring Twenties-themed event, with Tiger Cass, a Family Promise board member and Managing Director of Susquehanna International Group, leading the auction.
Fifty percent of the 145 guests were new to Family Promise. Also in attendance from the Family Promise Board of Trustees were: Angela Schroeder, Carmine Di Sibio, Neely Dodge, Regina Feeney, Cary Hardy, Eileen Serra, Stacey Slater Sacks, Mary Weger, Rick Vicens, and David Fleck.
“Many people don’t realize that Family Promise is a national organization, founded right here in Summit 29 years ago by our own Karen Olson," said Angela Schroeder, Chair of the Family Promise Board of Trustees. “Attendees of our Fall Fling have been the foundational support needed for nearly 70,000 children and their parents to achieve sustainable independence each and every year.”
The majority of the funds secured came via the Power of One campaign, an initiative to develop eight new Affiliates and serve an additional 1,000 children every year in areas that have no support systems in place for families experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.
Through last year’s 'Fall Fling' fundraising efforts, Family Promise of Great Portland opened in July -- the first Affiliate in the state of Maine. With 186 children identified as homeless in 2016 in the Portland school system; the need was critical and Family Promise stepped in as the solution. Another beneficiary, Davie County, NC, opened in early September as the eighth Affiliate in North Carolina.
Kat Lilly, a mother, former guest, and now a volunteer and Family Promise staff member at the Colorado Springs Affiliate, shared her story about the transformational experience of Family Promise:
“Just when I thought I had nowhere to turn, I found Family Promise and my life immediately began to change. Our time at Family Promise was a period of worry and anxiety, but also of support, compassion, and most important of all, family. Before long, I was able to re-establish a stable life for me and my children, and I have Family Promise to thank for that,” Lilly said.
A small business owner with 10 years’ experience in business management and development and a degree in Business Administration, Lilly found herself and her young children struggling to make ends meet when her husband left them. After a stay at Family Promise, she got her back on her feet and joined the Colorado Springs staff in March of 2015 as the Director of Operations and Finance.
Sponsors for the event included PetSmart Charities, Woodforest National Bank, Celgene, Philadelphia Insurance, Ashley HomeStore of Central New Jersey and Staten Island, Point View Wealth Management, and Lois Schneider Realtor.
The 2017 planning committee was co-chaired by Stacey Slater Sacks and Lisa Betz with a great roster of members: KC Artemenko, Natalie Dougherty, Regina Feeney, Liz Frank, Jennifer Glatt, Leah Griffith, Shelley Olson, Angela Schroeder, Margot Tobias, and Claire Toth.
“We are so grateful for the many community leaders who make this event possible,” said Cara Bradshaw, Family Promise’s Chief Impact Officer. “Our vision is to be recognized as the national leader addressing family homelessness and as an innovator in community-directed action. Our individual good -- and our collective good -- are served when families in America are offered the resources and skills to thrive.”