Family Promise Gala Brings the Roaring Twenties to Summit

November 13, 2017

074Flappers and fedoras were the order of the evening as Family Promise hosted its annual Fall Fling at Canoe Brook Country Club on November 3.  145 guests attended the Twenties-themed event which raised more than $280,000 in support of our mission to mobilize communities and empower families experiencing homelessness into sustainable independence.

Nadim Ahmed, President of the Hematology & Oncology Franchise for Celgene and a new member of the Family Promise Board of Trustees, acted as emcee, with Tiger Cass, a Family Promise board member and Managing Director of Susquehanna International Group, leading the auction.

AJ "Tiger" Cass.

AJ “Tiger” Cass.

The gala was an opportunity to reconnect with old friends as well as reach out to new supporters, as 50 percent of this year’s guests were new to Family Promise. They learned of the work being done by more than 180,000 volunteers in 200+ Affiliates across 43 states nationwide. As a reflection of our comprehensive approach towards addressing homelessness, 2017 saw the organization’s 1,500th Community Initiative developed—targeted solutions created by Affiliates at the community level.

“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 secure sustainable independence each and every year.”

Nadim Ahmed (L) and Celgene table.

Nadim Ahmed (L) and Celgene table.

Thanks to last year’s Fall Fling fundraising efforts, Greater Portland Family Promise 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, Family Promise of Davie County, opened in early September as the eighth Affiliate in North Carolina.

Kat Lilley, a mother, former guest, and now a volunteer and staff member at Family Promise of Colorado Springs, shared her inspirational story about the transformational experience of Family Promise:

Kat Lilley tells her story.

Kat Lilley tells her story.

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,” Kat said.

A small business owner with 10 years’ experience in business management and development and a degree in Business Administration, Kat found herself struggling to make ends meet when her husband left her with small children.  After a stay at Family Promise, Kat got her back on her feet and joined the Colorado Springs staff in March of 2015 as the Director of Operations and Finance.

Family Promise thanks its sponsors 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.

Fall Fling Planning Committee celebrates in style.

Fall Fling Planning Committee celebrates in style.

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 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.”

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