Clearwater nonprofit Hope Villages of America presents the Fifth Annual Grand Gala: Homecoming
An evening of philanthropy, dining and dancing, the Gala will celebrate homeless families returned to self-sufficiency and provide critical funding for Home Mission services year-round.
Hope Villages of America, formerly RCS Pinellas, is hosting its fifth annual Gala to raise funds for neighbors in need in Pinellas County. The event will celebrate the generous and compassionate supporters who provide help and hope to 130,000 individuals each year. 2021 marks the return of this evening of glamour and glitz; the last grand gala event was in 2018.
“It’s hard to believe that it has been a few years since our last Grand Gala event,” said President and CEO Kirk Ray Smith. “I’m so excited about the return of this incredibly fun event! The most exciting part of it all is the opportunity we have to help so many deserving individuals and families with dollars raised for our Home Mission Fund through this Homecoming!”
Hope Villages of America will host the Gala at Ruth Eckerd Hall, located at 1111 N. McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater on Saturday, August 21, 2021. The 2021 Gala: Homecoming is proudly presented by philanthropically focused businesses and community members, including Episcopal Church of the Ascension, BayCare, Siracusa Staffing and Leasing, Anona United Methodist Church, Tech Data, Harry and Sandy Jamieson, Clearwater Gas System, Hill Ward Henderson, Ken and Drina Meyer, PDR, Global Painting, Neilsen, Marina Bay 880, Mark Dufva in loving memory of Neil Dufva, Sue Ellis – Berkshire Hathway, DJ Dani, Prudential, Ehrlich, Lowe’s Commercial Painting, Alltrust, Cayman Construction Group, Regions Bank, Peter and Carolyn Gibson, CHAF Properties, Cherri McGrew and Gerald Albrect, St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg Distillery, Sheek Head 2 Toe, Clear Sky Restaurants and Cracker Barrel.
Individuals may also purchase their Golden Tickets online. The event will feature a VIP reception at 6 p.m. and an amazing array of times up for auction and raffle along with dinner and dancing, comments from Hope Villages’ President and CEO, Kirk Ray Smith and the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen! It’s sure to be a night you won’t want to miss.
The Homecoming King and Queen have been residents of the nonprofit’s Grace House, apartment-style housing that keeps homeless families together and moves them from crisis to self-sufficiency. They’ll share their incredible story of loss and recovery and how Hope Villages helps turn the homeless into homeowners.
Each year, HVA serves hundreds of families by providing a spectrum of housing stability services that meet Pinellas County residents at their moment of need. “The Haven provides emergency shelter for domestic violence survivors—and a new start in life. Grace House provides 80—or one-half—of the family shelter beds in the County,” Smith explained, “and provides dignified emergency shelter to homeless families with children for up to two months. Goldsmith Gardens offers an affordable housing option to our participants as the next step in their journey to self-sufficiency. None of these programs would be here without the support of those who live here and give here through events like the Grand Gala.”
About Hope Villages of America: Formerly RCS Pinellas (RCS), the organization established in 1967, is a registered 501(c)(3) organization that addresses the needs of the hungry, homeless and victims of domestic violence in Pinellas County. This mission is advanced through three distinct but integrated programs: Food Distribution & Basic Needs, Homeless Prevention Project & Housing Stability and Abuse Services. These programs operate in more than 60,000 square feet of service space and serve more than 130,000 participants annually throughout Pinellas County. In 2019 the nonprofit was awarded GuideStar’s Gold Seal of Transparency for the second year in a row and the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce Biggest Community Impact award. For more information, visit hopevillagesofamerica.org or call 727-584-3528.