New Hope Housing, Inc., is able to ease the emotional distress of more of the area's homeless today thanks to a gift from the Mount Vernon Kiwanis Club.
During their regular meeting at the Belle Haven Country Club on June 4, Paul Mehler, president of the club, presented a check for $17,600 to Paul Heimer, New Hope's director of development. It represented the net proceeds from their joint raffle conducted at the charity's recent 25th Gala Anniversary Celebration.
In accepting the check, Heimer noted, "Times are tough and this couldn't have come at a better time. Most of the homeless we serve are homeless through no fault of their own. They are victims of the economy."
Pointing out that the average age of a homeless person in Fairfax County is 11, Mehler emphasized, "The whole purpose of this raffle was for those kids." He also noted, "We couldn't have done this without the hard work of Elliot Tepper."
TEPPER SERVED as the Kiwanis project coordinator for the raffle. There were 301 tickets sold at $100 each for a total of $30,100. The winner of the grand prize, $10,000, was Carol Parker, wife of former Kiwanis president Gayle Parker, and herself a Kiwanis member for the past two years. There were also five second prize winners at $500 each.
The remaining funds, $17,600, were donated to New Hope Housing. This was in addition to the funds raised at their annual silent and live auctions conducted during the event at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center. Overall, this year's gala raised approximately $65,000.
"This was the first time we have done this," Tepper said of the raffle. "But, I believe it will become an annual event."