BEND, Ore. - The 2014 Spotlight on Homelessness, the Bethlehem Inn's annual fundraising dinner, raised over $120,000 during the event on Tuesday, May 6. This is a record-breaking amount for the annual dinner.
Gwenn Wysling, executive director, called the community's show of support for the Inn's program serving the region's adults and children experiencing homelessness "deeply gratifying," but was quick to add that year-long financial need is great for the Inn, which receives less than 5 percent of its funding from government sources.
Wysling also expressed gratitude to The Collins Foundation, The Bend Foundation and the Inn's Board of Directors for the $40,000 in challenge grants, which was offered to donors, who made $1,000 donations during the evening.
"We are deeply thankful to these foundations and our own Board of Directors, who recognize what it takes to consistently meet the needs of the thousands of adults and children we serve each year," she said.
Three-hundred guests attended the dinner at The Riverhouse Convention Center.
Many said the evening's highlight was hearing the story of former residents, Vince French and his four sons and Toni LaFoe. Both spoke about their life before and after their stay at the Inn and how they, with help from the Inn staff and community resources, were able to change their lives. Both French and LaFoe are now employed and living in their own homes in Bend.
The Bethlehem Inn transforms lives with shelter, help and hope by providing a warm bed, hot shower, 3 meals each day and support services for adults and families experiencing homelessness in Central Oregon.
Each year, the Inn provides shelter and support to over 1,100 individuals and serves 67,000 meals. To learn more about how you can be a part of Central Oregon's solution to end homelessness, please call 541.322.8768 or visit www.bethleheminn.org. Donations may also be mailed to Bethlehem Inn, P.O. Box 8540, Bend, OR 97708.