“Miracles happen at the Lord’s Place.” That was the observation made by one of the honorees at the seventh annual Ending Homelessness Breakfast held Nov. 20 at the Cohen Pavilion at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.
Making more miracles happen for homeless children was the focus of this year’s breakfast as the Lord’s Place announced its Tomorrow Fund, designed to provide opportunities and experiences for children to grasp a broader life view beyond that of homelessness and hopelessness. All money donated to the Tomorrow Fund over the next three years will be matched, up to $500,000, by a local family foundation that wishes to remain anonymous.
Members of the Youth Leadership Council comprised of teens living at the Lord’s Place Family Campus shared with the 500 in attendance their future career aspirations, including being a pediatrician, an anesthesiologist, a firefighter, a professional football player, a teacher and more.
Those honored at this year’s Ending Homelessness Breakfast included Community Partners, receiving the Servants Award for its work leading comprehensive case management through the Care Teams at the Lord’s Place men’s and family campuses, and the Boynton Beach Fire-Rescue Department receiving the Unsung Heroes Award for its many years of providing holiday gifts to the residents of the Lord’s Place Family Campus.
The winner of the 2014 Ending Homelessness Award is former client Blake MacQueen. A resident of the Lord’s Place as a teenager, MacQueen is now a college student studying to be an engineer. As he was busy studying for his college midterms, his mother, Lauren MacQueen, accepted the award on his behalf.
“Blake represents the true heroes at the Lord’s Place,” CEO Diana Stanley said. “No matter how high a level of service we provide, it is the clients themselves who must commit to the hard work to overcome the obstacles in their lives in order to get back on their feet and contribute to society. We are so proud to honor Blake and all that his successful journey represents.”
Each attendee at the breakfast was encouraged to involve a child in their life in the effort to raise money for the Tomorrow Fund through the Piggy Bank Challenge for Kids. Piggy banks, underwritten by Bank of America, were distributed to everyone in attendance. They are to be fostered by children throughout the community, filling them with donations from family and friends. They are to return the piggy banks to the Lord’s Place at 2808 N. Australian Ave. in West Palm Beach by Dec. 19 with all of the money being matched as a donation to the Tomorrow Fund.
Sponsors for the breakfast included the International Polo Club Palm Beach, Toshiba, UBS, Venue Marketing Group, FPL, Cheney Brothers, Templeton & Company, 1st United Bank, the Gehring Group, Brinkley Morgan, the Tablecloth Company and Bank of America, as well as Brian and Pamela McIver and the Cathleen McFarlane Foundation.
The Lord’s Place is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness. For more information, call (561) 494-0125 or visit www.thelordsplace.org.
ABOVE: Patrick McNamara and members of the Community Partners staff accept the Servants Award. Photos by David Scarola Photography