Rockford residents poised to build their biggest village yet in Haiti

Jeff Lemke traveled from his hometown of Cary, Illinois, to Dumas, Haiti, to meet the residents who will directly benefit from the proceeds raised at this year’s annual gala. (Photo courtesy of Food For The Poor, www.FoodForThePoor.org/rockford)
Jeff Lemke traveled from his hometown of Cary, Illinois, to Dumas, Haiti, to meet the residents who will directly benefit from the proceeds raised at this year’s annual gala. (Photo courtesy of Food For The Poor, www.FoodForThePoor.org/rockford)

Online Staff Report

The Hope for Haitians Board and Food For The Poor invite you to attend the 13th annual “An Evening in the Tropics” Saturday, Sept. 6, at Giovanni’s Restaurant & ConventionCenter, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford.

The Hope for Haitians Board has set an ambitious goal for participants of An Evening in the Tropics gala supporters. This year’s proposal includes building new homes for 90 families in Dumas, Haiti, complete with kitchenettes, latrines and solar lanterns. The village will be named the Pope Francis Friendship Village. Additionally, the planned community center and a cassava bakery will be available to the more than 1,500 residents who reside in the area. The Association For The Development of Dumas (ADD) will assist farmers in marketing and selling the products produced at this facility.

So many of the faithful gave up more than chocolate this past Lent,” said Tom Lorden, a founding trustee of the Hope for Haitians Board of Directors. “Their sacrificial giving is allowing Hope for Haitians to help more families than ever.”

Ten residents from the Rockford/Chicago area traveled to Haiti Feb. 24-27 with Food For The Poor to meet the destitute families in Dumas that are relying on them to make this year’s “An Evening in the Tropics” gala a success.

Two of the travelers, Pat Bachrodt and Greg McQueary, also are members of the Hope for Haitians Board.

It was certainly one of the most memorable few days of my life,” said McQueary. “I have already taken steps in an effort to find additional contributions.”

Additional members of the Hope for Haitians Board include the Rev. David Beauvais, Virginia Canavan, William Clancy, Patti Cottrell, Michael Delany, Bill Kalma, Danny Lorden, Tom and Nancy Lorden, Bob McLaughlin, Philip Nicolosi, Patti Rangel, Peter Roche, Andy Schultheis and the Rev. Geoff Wirth.

Master of ceremonies for this year’s An Evening in the Tropics is veteran broadcast journalist Mike Robinson. The evening also will feature a cocktail reception, silent auction, and formal dinner with friends and members of the surrounding communities. Bidding on silent auction prizes such as electronics, jewelry, vacations, golf and dining packages offer opportunities for guests to shop and support the cause.

The Most Reverend David J. Malloy, the ninth Catholic Bishop of Rockford, will deliver the invocation.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities and tickets, call 1-888-404-4248 or visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/rockford.

Travelers on the February trip to Haiti included Pat Bachrodt, Colin Gregory, Justin Kegley, Jeff Lemke, Greg McQueary, Pat Meyer, Sr. Rita Mary Ann Phalen, Miguel “Mike” Saltijeral Jr., the Rev. Tim Seigel, and the Rev. John “Steve” Stephen St. Jules.

Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Posted Sept. 3, 2014

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