FBH hosted its annual fundraising event, the Pearls of Hope Gala, at the J.W. Henderson Welcome Center at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on October 14. The 2016 Gala raised over $180,000 to benefit programs and initiatives designed to break the cycle of hunger, poverty, and homelessness among students in our communities.
A sold-out crowd of about 350 guests enjoyed a delicious dinner catered by Sodexo Campus Services, unique Latin entertainment provided by an Orlando based Samba Team and an inspirational and lively program hosted by Nellie Kargar and Kaylee Hatcher. Silent and live auctions gave guests the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Volusia County’s homeless and disadvantaged students through their generous donations and purchases. The auctions included goods and services donated by businesses, groups and individuals, including ceramic art from Seabreeze High School students. For the second year, the silent auction featured “Kids Helping Kids,” a special program designed by Deland HS art students with the objective of selling student art work and donating the proceeds to FBH to benefit the homeless children of Volusia County. One of the final events of the evening was the $10,000 raffle with $5,000 awarded to the winner. Recipient, Stephanie Mayfield, graciously donated her winnings back to Food Brings Hope.
The evening’s program consisted of two videos, produced by Everett Sullivan, highlighting the impact of FBH on children’s lives. The first one centered on the Eric Christopher DeVriese, Jr. HOPE House, a home for unaccompanied youth. The second video, “Johnny’s Story” focused on the day in the life of Johnny Fluitt, a 10th grade homeless student at Mainland HS who has been a member of FBH’s afterschool programs since he was in 4th grade at Westside Elementary. At the conclusion of the video, Johnny joined Mrs. Hosseini on stage and credited much of his drive and success to the Farshad Babazadeh Honors program (FBHonors) and his extended FBH Family. He also shared that his ultimate goal is to receive a FBH scholarship and once again walk through the doors of ERAU, but the next time as a student.
The presenting sponsor for the third year in a row was Holland Financial. Other event sponsors included, The Burke Family, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Giles Electric, Halifax Health, ICI Homes, The Mumtaz Foundations, Inc; Abbas Abdulhussein & Family, and Tile-It Industries. During the evening’s program, a surprise donation of $10,000 was given to Forough Hosseini by Trustee David Holland on behalf of the Timothy Kurpa Revocable Trust.
To view and order photos from the Pearls of Hope Gala III, please CLICK HERE!