Dinner helps 'Love' grow

Posted: Monday, March 31, 2008

The ministry of Love in the Name of Christ would like to express our sincerest thanks to all who made the Love INC Family Hope Center presentation dinner a huge success.

Over 185 guests affiliated with 19 community agencies and 20 local churches were in attendance. Borough Mayor John Williams and Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey relayed their personal experiences with the issues of homelessness and housing. Both recognized principled values performed by community individuals were critical to success in assisting the poor.

Traveling from state headquarters of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority in Anchorage, programs officer Nancy Burke conveyed the crisis of current homelessness statewide. She congratulated Kenai Peninsula residents for their awareness and concern for those in need on the peninsula. AMHTA provided Love INC with a predevelopment research grant, validating the need for a transitional living facility on the peninsula to address the 400 to 500 annual homeless population.

The evening truly demonstrated agencies and grantors can work together to change the lives of these peninsula families in need. Since the LIFHC's initial inception in December 2005, the community support of the Family Hope Center Project has continued to grow recognizing the critical and urgent need for such a facility to assist families.

Pastor John Rysdyk and staff of the Soldotna Bible Chapel graciously provided their facility and services for Executive Chef Bill Ferguson to prepare a magnificent meal. Emcee Pastor Steve Brown of the Kenai New Life Assembly of God and a group of 21 young people from Alaska Christian College, Sterling Lutheran Church, Reflection Lake Chapel and the Brown Bear Hockey Team were our excellent table servers. Our guests so enjoyed the violin serenade music of Dr. Robert Thompson and the vocal presentations by his wife, Karen.

Love INC would like to extend a special thank you to Chevron, annual supporter for our fundraising dinner for over a decade, and Big G Electric for their dedicated backing of this dinner. Confirming our belief "Once the peninsula is made aware, the peninsula cares for its own," were all those who financially donated at the dinner for those in need.

For over two decades we have been blessed by families helping families, and this year we receive over a 30 percent increase in support. We would not have been able to provide the delicious meal without the food donations from the following organizations and individuals: Mr. and Mrs. Tuckerman Babcock, Country Foods, Pastor and Mrs. Phil Edgerly, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Ferguson, Fred Meyer, Kaladi Brothers, Peterkin Distributors, Soldotna Safeway and Mr. and Mrs. Emery Thibodeau.

Last, but certainly not least, we would like to say thank you to the 24 table hostesses and all our program participants who made this evening such an inspiring success.

We look forward to a fruitful and growing mission to the homeless of the Kenai Peninsula, and to all in need.

Ingrid Edgerly

Executive director

Love INC

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