Grace’s Birthday Gala, September 14, 2019
It was Grace’s Birthday Gala!! What a night! We walked into the banquet hall and saw the most beautiful room! Volunteers had filled the room with deep red roses, donated by Allure Farms! It looked like something out of a fairy tale – with little white twinkle lights everywhere! Jennifer Gregory had put together beautiful gift baskets filled with donated items for the silent auction. They were valued at a total of $4,750!! There were also goods on the stage that were donated for the live auction. Some of them were: a huge basket of things from the Miami Dolphins, a 50″ t.v., gift certificates for Skydiving, a Stay-cation on the beach, and other special events. Amazing!! It was breath-taking!
It is heartwarming to think of all the local entities who donated so much to our fundraising gala! Enriched Foods donated dinner – in fact, the commUNITY donated everything!! Some lucky guests, (the ones who found a red ticket under their plates) won gift bags. And, of course, everything in the gift bags was donated, too!! We are very conscientious about how we spend our money – we want to make every donated dollar count toward helping the people in the community who are struggling to find the light of hope again!
Grace’s 2nd Birthday
So, Grace turned 2 this year – the birthday gala was for her, after all. What an amazing journey we are all on with her! It took a year to get her ready to go. And we want to give kudos to Rowdy Gifford, Bob Albaugh, and various others who transformed her from a Miami City bus to the mobile shower bus she is today! Then, on August 31, 2017, County Commissioner Lamar Fisher cut the ribbon and we showered our first guest! Commissioner Fisher was with us at the Gala too, to conduct the live auction. We thanked him and other governmental changemakers – like Ben Sorenson, Fort Lauderdale City Commisioner, who works so hard to help those who are housing insecure.
Birthday Gala Partners
We honored our partnership with Nova Southeastern University and Professor Kristi Messer – she left her own wedding to attend Grace’s Birthday Gala!! Over these last 2 years we have partnered with Tobacco Free Florida, Broward College, Ultimate Software, Bombas socks, and many, many more! Signature Realtors with their Give Back program, Mark Robbins and his Humans Against Trafficking organization were so impactful for us this year!! In 2018, we provided 2500 showers, 6000 meals, thousands of hygiene products, t-shirts and underwear. We have a dynamic Board of Directors and a CEO that never sleeps!
Loads of Love
And now, the big news for Grace’s 3rd birthday in 2020, is Phase II of Showering Love – (drum roll!) – Loads of Love!! We will build a portable, self-contained laundry facility so that our guests can launder their bedding! We know that health begins with hygiene and we want them to have clean bodies, clean clothes, and clean bedding to lie down on!! You will be hearing much more about this as the year progresses!
Thank you to all in the commUNITY for making it possible!!