Published August 20, 2009
Originally founded in France in 1833, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul established a presence in Atlanta in 1903, and since then has provided countless poor and needy families and individuals with food, financial and educational assistance, and much more.
The event will specifically benefit the group’s Sweet Dreams, Uplift and other various family support programs. Sweet Dreams is a program that provides new and refurbished beds to clients who do not have them. Uplift is a long-term commitment to qualified clients, which provides financial aid, emotional support, childcare, training and other assistance, in order to give the client an opportunity to achieve the educational or technical training needed to move beyond their current situation.
The Society responded to over 170,000 requests for help last year, more than 465 a day. About 94 percent of all donations go toward programs and services for the needy. Members of the Society also donated about 219,000 volunteer hours in 2008, but the help of the wider community is needed to expand the reach of their helping hands to more people.
“Evening for Hope,” which will be held at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel at the Cobb Galleria, will feature an address by Father Ronald Rolheiser, Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate, who is a columnist, author and speaker. Chairpersons for the event are Scott and Mary Ellen Garrett, with honorary chairpersons Vince and Barbara Dooley.
The black tie optional event will be preceded at 5 p.m. with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, followed by a cocktail reception at 6:15 p.m. and a seated dinner at 7 p.m. and program. FOX 5 news anchor Russ Spencer will serve as emcee for the evening, which will feature silent and live auction bidding as well as personal stories from those aided by the Society. People of all faiths are invited to the celebration of Mass before the formal gala.
The cost is $75 per person or $750 for a table for 10. Information about making reservations and sponsorship of the evening are available at www.svdpatl.org or by contacting Judy Sebastian at (770) 576-4077 or John Berry at (770) 457-2920.