It may have been a cold and rainy night in the Queen City, but inside the beautiful Quail Hollow Country Club, hearts were warmed by the inspiring stories of countless lives touched by Charlotte Family Housing (CFH).
Our Fifth Annual Quail Hollow Cocktail Party was unlike any other. Yes, the space was beautiful, adorned with gold and white linens and cupcake centerpieces. The food display was as stunning as it was tasty – ahi tuna, fried oysters, fried green tomatoes, chicken drummettes, a prime rib carving station, and a shrimp and grits bar. The amazing Micah Baldonada, a Providence High School student, filled the room with music from the baby grand piano. There were even televisions available, so that no one would miss the Panthers kick-off. But these are not the things that made the evening so special. What made this party unlike any other were the 200 people that came out to support the families being served and empowered by CFH.
In between the food, cocktails, and conversation, attendees were able to hear CFH’s remarkable story. New Executive Director Pedro Perez started the program with his personal story of growing up in poverty with a single mother who, through hard work and the help of others, was able to break the cycle of poverty. Pedro was followed by CFH Board Chair Paul Finnen, who honored the extraordinary life of Ben Hill. Ben has spent decades advocating for the most vulnerable in our community and, as he walked to the podium to accept his award, the entire room honored him with a standing ovation.
Lamont Simmons, a CFH program graduate, was the next to speak. With his two beautiful teenage daughters by his side, Lamont shared his story of trials, courage, and ultimately overcoming poverty and homelessness. He shared the impact that CFH has had on his family’s life. Through the support of CFH and his own determination, Lamont has moved from homelessness to our shelter, to a subsidized apartment, and to the American dream of homeownership. Board members Beth Bell and Chris Turner concluded the program sharing why they are so passionate about the CFH mission and inviting the room to partner with us to fulfill our mission.
CFH’s mission to empower families experiencing homelessness to achieve long-term self-sufficiency through shelter, housing, support services, and advocacy can only be realized by the collective efforts of a diverse community committed to our model of empowerment and accountability. On this memorable evening at a stunning venue, 200 people heard the message of how the CFH model can truly break the cycle of poverty and homelessness and many were inspired to partner with us in our mission. Through stories like Lamont’s, guests were able to hear, first-hand, how CFH’s model gives hope and dignity to hardworking homeless families living in our community.
It was such a wonderful night. It was an evening of fun and fellowship and purpose. Hearts were opened by stories of success and resiliency. We were all inspired by the life of Ben Hill and his years of service to our community. And, in that room, we were all challenged to committing our lives to impacting others. Thank you to all who attended this event. Thank you for partnering with us as we break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, one family at a time.
An album of photos from CFH’s Fifth Annual Quail Hollow Cocktail Party is displayed on our Facebook page