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Gala 2014, “The Promise of the Future”, was a resounding success, raising $88,000 to further the mission of Family Promise and help build better and brighter futures for our families. (See Gala photos here.) Over 150 people—both old friends and many new ones– joined us to hear about Family Promise—Past, Present & Future. Bishop Mark Beckwith, leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, talked briefly about the rich history of the Interreligious Fellowship, launched in 1986 and lauded his fellow founder, Nancy Woods, for her longstanding and passionate commitment to the organization. Our transition from the IRF to Family Promise 4 years ago has been a successful one as we look at where we are today, with our primary mission to shelter and provide a comprehensive array of support programs and services for working poor homeless families. Our guests were truly moved by the compelling and emotional stories of success shared by two of our families, with one grateful little daughter of one rushing the stage to jump into Executive Director Kate Duggan’s arms. Family Promise truly does change lives!

But it is the promise of the future for our families on which we are concentrating our vision and directing significant resources moving forward. Housing and food security are vital for families but it is simply not enough! President Paul Shackford spoke of the job training and development that need to take place to ensure that our working parents free themselves from the shackles of low paying jobs and launch themselves on a path that will lead the way to building true economic security. In doing so, they break the cycle of poverty , elevating themselves and becoming role models for their children and the generations to follow.

We are grateful to all who attended, bid enthusiastically on auction items, bought raffle tickets and made generous pledges of additional financial support at the end of the evening. And many who could not make it made generous donations in lieu of attending. Big thanks go to our sponsors – BD, PNC Wealth Management, Wells Fargo and Inserra Supermarkets. And save the date for next year—Thursday, October 22nd! We’ll see you there—venue to be announced!