The county’s first inter-agency fundraiser concluded November 4 with the Gala of Hope; proceeds will support the SUCCESS Project in its work to help low-income families and individuals.
Local families in need can look forward to a brighter new year thanks to the SUCCESS Project’s Families of Hope campaign. The 10-week program came to an end on November 4 during the Gala of Hope banquet, where it was announced that thousands had been raised and that Chrystal Morris and family had raised the most, earning the title of 2017 Beacon of Hope. Proceeds will be used throughout 2017 by the SUCCESS Project to provide programs and assistance that help low-income individuals and families on their journey to achieve personal economic independence.
“Families of Hope” was Harford County’s first inter-agency program, bringing together 13 non-profit agencies that assist low income families living in the area. Each organization nominated one of their clients, then promoted and supported their candidate’s fundraising efforts. Participating families raised money by contacting businesses and other organizations to buy ads in the Families of Hope Keepsake Calendar, which featured original artwork created by each family; pre-sales of the actual calendar; and by organizing their own individual fundraising events. The total collected also included sales of tickets to the Gala and bids for silent auction items donated by local merchants.
The culmination of the Families of Hope Campaign was the Gala of Hope where it was announced that Chrystal Morris and family, who were nominated by Safe Harbor Christian Counseling, had raised the most. They and the other contestants will receive half of what they collected to support their individual goals, each of which will further enable the participants’ efforts to achieve economic self-sufficiency. The rest of what was raised will be used to enhance SUCCESS Project programs. All Families of Hope nominees were also recognized for their accomplishments with a special award from the SUCCESS Project along with a proclamation from Harford County.
Held at Bulle Rock Golf Course, the Gala of Hope drew a crowd of more than 150 guests who enjoyed dinner, dancing and live entertainment. Among the attendees were Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler; City of Havre de Grace Mayor William Martin; Havre de Grace Police Chief Teresa Walter; City of Havre de Grace Council President Stephen Gamatoria; and City of Havre de Grace Council Members David Martin, Monica Worrell and David Glenn.
Also present were representatives of each nominating agency including Ken Guise, the Morris family counselor, who was thrilled to be on hand as his agency’s nominee was named top fundraiser. He says, “Safe Harbor Christian Counseling was so proud to sponsor Chrystal in the Families of Hope Campaign. She truly exemplifies how our programs, and others like ours, can change lives for the better. “
The SUCCESS Project Executive Director Nicki Biggs concurs, noting “The Gala of Hope is a highlight of the year because it gives us the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of Harford County families as they work to become economically self-sufficient. But this year’s celebration was even more inspiring because through the Families of Hope we were able to shine a light on the good work being done by other agencies too, so low-income families in our county know they have more resources available to them and the do not have to face adversity alone.”
She adds, “On behalf of The SUCCESS Project, thank you to all of the partnering agencies, sponsors, auction donors and the generous support of the community for making the Families of Hope and the Gala of Hope possible. We hope this event is the start of a wonderful new partnership between agencies, and one that will enable many more families to succeed.”
For more information about The SUCCESS Project and the Families of Hope Campaign, and to see photos from the Gala of Hope, visit www.theupwardclimb.org.
About The SUCCESS Project (www.theupwardclimb.org)
The “SUCCESS” in The SUCCESS Project stands for “Supporting the Upward Climb to Continued Economic Self-Sufficiency.” The mission of the non-profit is to provide at-risk youth and low-income adults with services that teach life skills and encourage personal economic independence. The program is free and provides case management and referral services in the following areas: education, job training, employment opportunities, health care, financial education, credit counseling, home ownership, career advancement, transportation, life skills and entrepreneurship.