Our thanks to everyone who participated in our Spring Gala, “Making Hunger Disappear” on Friday, April 8th. What a truly magical evening it was – and our most successful event yet, raising $188,000! These funds will directly benefit thousands of residents here in Morris County in need of assistance, providing them with food, education and resources to stay healthy and inspire hope.
We owe a great deal of thanks to our honorees: Moretrench, who also served as our Premier Event Sponsor, Investors Bank, and Delbarton School, who also served as gold and silver sponsors respectively. Our 230 guests could not stop raving about the band, Matt Friedman and Uptown Sounds (sponsored by the Birnbaum family), and our magicians and fortune tellers wowed the crowd! We had an amazing auction with over 100 really great items, a live auction that resulted in a bidding war, plus raffles of baskets, our “Apron” raffle with more than $700 in restaurant gift certificates and our cash raffle, in which the winner’s take was over $6,000! (Congrats to our volunteer who won the prize!)
But it was our special guest, a client of the pantry, who left us with the biggest impression. She bravely shared her story, struggles and IFP experiences with us… here’s just part of what she said:
I was amazed when I came to this Food Pantry. The person who did my interview was so nice and the process was painless. When we finished the application and she said we were going shopping, I thought she was kidding. Shopping where? But sure enough, she took me into this big room with shelves full of food and refrigerators and freezers with milk, meat and even produce, and then allowed me to choose what food I needed. Food that was healthy.
Most places give you pre-packed bags of groceries. To be able to go to a pantry and pick out the food you and your family like – actually want to eat – is very empowering. Having a choice took the feeling of helplessness out of coming here.
The difference this Pantry has made for my family has been incredible. My 6-year old, who suffers from sickle cell anemia, loves coming to the Interfaith Food Pantry because the volunteers all spoil her! For me, things started to change by attending the cooking classes. I learned how to make things I never would have tried before – started cooking healthier for my family, and I actually lost 42 pounds!
We are all so inspired by the change she has made and are happy to have been able to provide her the opportunity to make healthy choices a part of her life.
We would also like to thank all of our auction donors, advertisers, and of course our generous sponsors for making this an outstanding event!
Check out our Facebook Page for photos.