December 2, 2014 (Irvine, California) – On Friday, November 7, 2014, HomeAid Orange County's year-long celebration of its 25th anniversary culminated with a Silver Masquerade Ball at the beautiful Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach. This year's theme for the annual Doorways for Hope gala Unmasking the Faces of Homelessness lent itself well to demonstrate HomeAid's commitment to its mission of ending homelessness since its inception in 1989.
For 25 years, HomeAid Orange County has sought to end homelessness through advocacy, development and service. In 1989, HomeAid was established by the Orange County Chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California. HomeAid acts as a liaison between service providers and community volunteers, as well as builders and specialty contractors.
Bill Balfour, Senior Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Banking at Bank of America and board president of HomeAid OC states, "Bank of America is proud to be an ongoing sponsor for HomeAid's gala and is pleased to continue supporting HomeAid and its' mission of ending homelessness in Orange County."
This year, special thanks went out to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International for joining HomeAid's efforts to end homelessness by coming on board as the gala Title Sponsor. Valeant was also recognized for supporting Homeless Awareness Month as its' lead sponsor during the month of November.
At the event, HomeAid was proud to announce the addition of four new Legacy Board members. Mike Lennon who served as the original CEO in 1989, Jay Blakslee, who also started on the board its first year in 1989, Les Thomas, former president of Shea Homes, who also served as board president, served on the board starting in 1998, and Dick Hunsaker of Hunsaker & Associates whose contributions as a board member started in 2002. All deserving of continued gratitude for helping HomeAid house over 50,000 homeless over the past 25 years.
Tara Morenc, Director of Purchasing at William Lyon Homes, this year's event co-chair, expressed that "HomeAid has been working to unmask the faces of homelessness to build awareness that housing is needed not only for those individuals you see on the streets, but also for those you don't see – the families with young children who are sleeping in different shelters at night struggling to ensure their children get enough to eat, a warm place to sleep and are able to get an education. The faces of homelessness go far beyond what most people see on a day to day basis, especially here in Orange County."
As guests entered the Doorways for Hope gala, they walked through large doorways that adorned the hallway. When approached about the doors, John Racunas, Senior Vice President with Orion Risk Management and Co-Chair for the Doorways for Hope Gala responded that "Doors represent a home, hope and new opportunities, which is what we're providing to the homeless community and why we have them here at the event. We want HomeAid's supporters to fully understand and appreciate that by attending the event, they are doing more than giving money to a good cause, they are helping to build doorways for hope."
HomeAid Orange County's vision to end homelessness starts at the core – where does someone go when they suddenly find themselves without a home? HomeAid gives children and their parents, along with individuals, the opportunity to move from benches to beds to self-sufficiency. HomeAid achieves its mission of building new lives for homeless families and individuals through housing and community outreach through advocacy, development of shelters and service. To learn more and get involved, visit www.homeaidoc.org.