MORRISTOWN — Attendees were wind-blown and snow covered as they arrived at the Westin Governor Morris in Morristown on Friday, March 2. Over 200 guests weathered the storm to attend Homeless Solutions 18th Annual Dream Builders’ Bash. Despite the nor’easter guests filled the ballroom for an evening of cocktails, dinner, and dancing. They enjoyed participating in the Wine Pull, Raffle, and Silent & Live Auctions allowing them to further support HSI.
This year the Bash was themed Riding Home Together, representing Dream Builder Award Honorees, Gran Fondo NJ (GFNJ) founders Marty Epstein of Marty’s Reliable Cycle and Bill Ruddick, GFNJ Director. Seven years ago they created the GFNJ to give back to their local community. “We love to support Morristown, we love to support our community, that’s why we do this,” Marty Epstein said during his acceptance speech. “You are a great organization and inspire us to keep doing this. We are beyond honored to be your award recipients tonight,” stated Bill Ruddick.
Longtime Homeless Solutions volunteer and Parsippany resident Diane Martin received the Mary E. Van Kirk Volunteer Spirit Award. Diane is a superstar volunteer and someone HSI can rely on no matter the task. She is a regular cook at the shelter and helps in so many other ways from painting rooms at the shelter, stuffing envelopes, to leading the HSI Gran Fondo rest stop in Chester.
Before the evening came to a close, guests heard from former HSI Transitional Housing Program participant, Rebecca. She shared her emotional journey and the fairy tale life she feels she is living today. With the help of Homeless Solutions, Rebecca says she was empowered to take charge of all aspects her life. She is now on her way to purchasing her own home. She took time to thank donors and volunteers, “Because of your generosity and support my life is forever changed.” Rebecca was surprised by her 19-year-old daughter who delivered her flowers at the end of her speech. An emotional moment everyone enjoyed.
Homeless Solutions CEO Dan McGuire said, “I was deeply moved to see so many people in attendance despite the storm. We are truly fortunate to have such dedicated and loyal supporters. Many people remarked that the awful weather and power outages were a stark reminder of how the event helps to keep our community’s homeless safe and warm every day.”
The Dream Builders’ Bash is Homeless Solutions, Inc. (HSI) signature fundraising event. It is a dinner/dance, that brings together attendees from Morris and Somerset County to raise funds for HSI shelter programs. It has sold out for the last four years in a row.
Homeless Solutions, Inc. (HSI) is a private, non-profit organization with 35 years of experience in meeting the needs of those affected by homelessness in Morris County. Our philosophy is, “a Hand Up, not a Handout”. There are many ways we work to accomplish our mission to offer shelter, services, and supportive housing to homeless and low-income people. HSI runs four shelter programs and a Transitional Housing Program to help guests develop the skills to successfully return to independent living. We also operate the Mt. Kemble Home for Senior Women of limited means and develop and manage Affordable Housing throughout Morris County. For more information click here.