West Chester Charity Ball Benefits the Friends Association, a Stabilizing Force for Families Facing Homelessness

Image via Friends Association.
West Chester Charity Ball Committee members include Catherine Friedman, Mary Cooke, Valerie Jester, Claudia Hutter, Pat Kimmel, Lisa Kaplan, Glenda Brion, Rose Marinelli, Lynn Childs, Marie Paxson, and Robin Meixner.

Generally speaking, the Friends Association for the Care & Protection of Children, one of a number of local nonprofits that play an outsized role in strengthening the community, is essential to the fabric of Chester County.

To hear one woman whose world was turned upside down following a devastating car accident — or others who’ve experienced similar hardship —  describe it, the organization is simply a lifesaver.

“(Friends Association) gave me back the ability to work and live independently,” said the woman, a mother of a young girl who had no family to turn to after her accident.

She was, however, able to turn to the West Chester-based nonprofit that helps homeless or near-homeless families stabilize their lives and find or maintain permanent housing.

“To understand the difficulties (I experienced), you might, as in my case, have to experience great trauma,” she said. “You might need a car accident, loss of career, failing health. You might need to have no home, no car, no means to buy food that isn’t in a can.

“You might need to experience the welfare office, only to realize that you cannot get housing assistance or daycare assistance or access to a phone. No place to receive mail so you know about your disability hearing or if you have qualified for food stamps.”

Friends Association provided her and her daughter with the support and shelter that enabled them to get back on their feet. Last year, the Association helped 270 children and 122 families overcome homelessness, a feat that might not have been possible if not for the amount raised at the West Chester Charity Ball, the nonprofit’s largest fundraiser. Replete with gourmet food, wine, music, and a lively auction, the event has grown to become one of the most-anticipated events in town.

This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1 from 6:30-11 PM at the West Chester Golf and Country Club.

Your attendance goes a long way in helping to reduce homelessness in Chester County and to promote the independence of families with children.

“This holiday gala, part of West Chester’s Old-Fashioned Christmas, is essential in funding the important work Friends Association does to improve the community,” said Catherine Friedman, Executive Director. “All proceeds benefit the mission of Friends Association for Care and Protection of Children: preventing and ending family homelessness in our community. Thousands of families have been helped throughout the past three decades.”

Friends Association will honor the West Chester community with the 2018 Friend of the Community Award.

“This year will honor our West Chester Community for all they do to help our families experiencing homelessness,” said Friedman. “In addition to raising funds for our three homeless programs, hundreds of donors and volunteers go above and beyond to ensure our families’ needs are met.

“Our individual and corporate sponsors answer the call on a daily basis, from maintaining our shelters to donating and organizing housing supplies, school backpacks, and holiday gifts. Over 92 percent of our families leave our program with a lease in their name, thanks to our community.”

This year’s Charity Ball features a night full of entertainment, including celebrity emcee Craig Smith of QVC, and live and silent auctions. Guests will enjoy a delectable dinner and festive cocktails while dancing the night away to The Midnight Hour Band featuring Pepper Duffy.

Click here for more information about tickets and sponsorships.

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