Harford Family House’s “Ahoy!” Nets Record $56,000

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(Left to right): Ahoy! Cocktails by the Bay’s 2019 cast members: Erika Quesenbery, City of Havre de Grace Department of Economic Development; Lt. Will Reiber, Aberdeen Police Department; Kay Sheldon Dyches; Paige Boyle, Boyle Buick GMC Truck with Yorkshire terrier Mia Heidelmaier, It’s PayDay; Trish Umbarger Keck, Creative Concepts by Trish; Lance Hersh, Saxon’s Diamond Centers; Mark Dardozzi, Richlin Ballroom & Catering. Photo credit: Eileen Earnest Photography

Funds to support Harford County’s families with children experiencing homelessness

Harford Family House’s 3rd annual, “Ahoy! Cocktails by the Bay” netted a record $56,000 for Harford County’s families with children experiencing homelessness the evening of May 30, 2019 at La Banque de Fleuve’s Seaplane Base in Havre de Grace.

The most recent Point in Time (PIT) count conducted by Harford County’s Office of Economic and Community Development found more than 230 men, women and children live without a home – a 19% increase from last year. Funds raised through Ahoy! will allow the nonprofit to provide critical housing, resources and support to families in need.

The event’s theme, “There’s No Place like ‘A Home’” embraced the magical 1939 American musical film, “The Wizard of Oz,” and more than 200 attendees, including honorary co-chairs County Councilman Robert Wagner and his wife, Tina, enjoyed themed cocktails, food from MacGregor’s restaurant, live music from Sam O’Hare, raffles and more.

Attendees also heard from Donna Blunt, a former resident of Harford Family House. “When Harford Family House took me and my grandson in last year, we were very afraid and depressed,” said Blunt. “I had no job, no money and was one month away from having my car repossessed. I had never in my wildest dreams EVER thought we would be homeless.” With the help of Harford Family House, however, Blunt has re-established her independence. She now has two jobs, is living in her own mobile home she is in the process of purchasing, is working toward her Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL) and her grandson is thriving.

A record $23,000 was raised by the event’s cast members – individuals within Harford County’s business community. Lance Hersh, co-owner of Saxon’s Diamond Centers, received the “Buoy of Hope” award for raising $6,900 for the cause.

Robin Tomechko, CEO of Harford Family House and Lance Hersh, co-owner of Saxon’s Diamond Centers. Photo credit: Jim Lockard Photography

“While we celebrate an extremely successful Ahoy!, our signature fundraising events currently make up about 20% of our organizational budget and represent one small way by which we are able to make a difference in the lives of families who are experiencing homelessness,” says Robin Tomechko, CEO of Harford Family House. “Did you know the average cost to help one family annually is $25,000? The community’s year-round support is desperately needed, and we encourage folks to follow the amazing example set by our Ahoy! fundraising champions.”

Now in its 30th anniversary year, Harford Family House is the largest provider of housing for families with children experiencing homelessness and unaccompanied young adults in Harford County. Since its inception, the organization has provided housing, resources and support to more than 600 families, changing the lives of more than 1,900 individuals. To donate or learn other ways to get involved, visit www.harfordfamilyhouse.org.

Ahoy! attendees (from left to right): Stephanie Darling of Port Deposit, Jenn Finkel of North East, Kerry Patrick of Rising Sun and Monica Madron of Port Deposit. Photo credit: Eileen Earnest Photography

About Harford Family House – www.harfordfamilyhouse.org
Harford Family House is the largest provider of housing for families with children experiencing homelessness in Harford County. Other programs include HUD Supportive Housing for families experiencing homelessness where one family member has a disability, Wheels for Work, providing transportation to and from work while helping families work toward car ownership, and Ready by 21, a program to support unaccompanied young adults ages 18-21 who are involved with the foster care system. 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 despair to hope and independence.

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