Harford Family House’s Horses for the Homeless Gala Raises Over $100,000

– Members of the Harford Family House Leadership Giving Circle. Back, L-R: Lance Hersh, Matt Rehak, Steve Smeltzer, Steve Linkous and Richard Huffman. Front, L-R: Deborah McCollum, Joyce Duffy, Mary Chance.

Combined with its Family Fun Day event, Harford Family House meets 25th anniversary goal of raising $250,000.

[Bel Air, MD] September 4, 2014— On Saturday, August 23rd, nearly 250 people gathered at The Water’s Edge Event Center in Belcamp, Md. for Harford Family House’s annual Horses for the Homeless Gala. This was the premiere of what will be an annual event for the non-profit, made even more important and meaningful during its 25th anniversary year. The fundraiser raised $100,000 after expenses and not including event sponsorships, which is a record for any HFH event. Event proceeds, combined with the money raised at its Family Fun Day on August 16th meant that HFH was able to achieve its 25th anniversary goal of raising $250,000. These funds will support HFH’s important work as the largest provider of emergency and transitional housing for homeless families in Harford County.


Horses for the Homeless was celebrated in the style of Maryland’s Preakness Stakes, with many guests wearing Preakness-inspired apparel, such as hats and sundresses for the ladies and suits with boldly colored ties and shirts for the gentlemen. Notable attendees included: Steve Smeltzer and Deborah McCollum of Jones Junction; Steve and Sandi Linkous of Harford Mutual Insurance and Merle Norman Salon and Spa; Matt and Carol Rehak of Harford Financial Group;  Lance Hersh and Tina Wade of Saxon’s Diamond Centers; Mary Chance, Director of Administration of Harford County; Richard and Dawn Huffman of Celebree Learning Centers; Dr. Mary Teddy Wray of Laurel Bush Dentistry; Dr. Jeffrey Horowitz; Pam Klahr, CEO of the Harford County Chamber of Commerce; Harford County Council members Chad Shrodes and Dion Guthrie; and Sheriff Jesse Bane.

Pat Scott (A Better Answer), Fred Schlimm & Dr. Mary Teddy Wrap (Laurel Bush Family Dentistry) enjoy the festivities.
Pat Scott (A Better Answer), Fred Schlimm & Dr. Mary Teddy Wrap (Laurel Bush Family Dentistry) enjoy the festivities.


Upon arrival, guests were greeted by Copenhagen, an American Appendix horse belonging to Steve Smeltzer. The horse obliged guests with Winner’s Circle Photos. For many of the guests, the evening began with a Leadership Giving Presentation in a VIP Room. The other guests enjoyed a cocktail hour in the main dining space.


The general program kicked off at 8 p.m. and began with a welcome from HFH board chair Scott Elliott. He then thanked the event’s sponsors:  Presenting sponsor—Jones Junction; Platinum Sponsor—Harford Financial Group; Gold Sponsors—The Aegis, Ally Financial, Celebree Learning Centers and United Way of Central Maryland. Silver sponsors included: Aberdeen Rotary Club, APGFCU, Bel Air Auto Auction, Chesapeake Employers Insurance, Christ Our King Presbyterian Church, Harford’s Heart Magazine, Harford Mutual Insurance Company, Dr. Jeffrey Horowitz, Innovative Insurance Solutions, Klein’s ShopRite, Laurel Bush Family Dentistry, Love Fellowship Christian Center, Law Offices of Love, Fleming & Bearsch, LLC, M&T Bank, MedStar Health, Northrop Grumman, People’s Bank, Rose Satz, Saxon’s Diamond Centers, WAMD and Zurich. The event was also a success thanks to in-kind donations by Shaffer, McLaughlin, & Stover, LLC, Treasured Cookie, Flowers by Lucy, Blush, Main Street Cigar and Dee’s Florist.


The event continued with remarks from HFH Executive Director/CEO Joyce Duffy. Pastor Luke Erickson of Mountain Christian Church presided as Master of Ceremonies. Additional event highlights included a silent auction, a live auction of a Myrtle Beach vacation and recognition of Jim Ellwood’s work leading the capital campaign that made it possible to renovate the building at 53 East Bel Air Avenue. The live auction was led by auctioneer Mike Stuart of RBC Wealth Management, who helped HFH reach the $100,000 mark by auctioning off memberships to the organization’s Leadership Giving Circle.


HFH Executive Director/CEO Joyce Duffy said of the fundraiser, “This event was the perfect way to celebrate the important difference that Harford Family House has made in the lives of so many, as well as inspire the community to keep their eyes looking toward the future and the work that we can accomplish together over the next 25 years.”

Kit Webster holds the reins while Harford Family House board members Rose Satz, Jewell Thompson, Carol Taylor and Kristin Klein pose with Copenhagen.


About Harford Family House

Harford Family House is the largest provider of transitional housing for homeless families with children in Harford County.  Other programs include Emergency Shelter for families and HUD Supportive Housing for homeless families where one family member has a disability. Clients are provided with a fully furnished apartment or house and receive case management services and referrals to partner agencies to move them from homelessness and hopelessness to hope and independence.

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