Anyone For a Parlour Session?

By John Swartz

The Building Hope fundraising campaign is ramping up. To accumulate the money raised so far ($11 million of $14 total) beside applying for and getting grants, the team has been holding focused donation events with donors.

“We’ve doing parlour sessions for about a year now where we invited people who haven’t heard about our project and we can share the information,” said Linda Goodall, executive director of the Lighthouse Soup Kitchen. “We had a construction parlour session, and then we had a church parlour session.”

Since the groundbreaking in May and last week’s Country Gala at Casino Rama, they are broadening their audience, still with the parlour session model, to less homogenous groupings of people.

“It’s communication. We’re finding any opportunity to get information out there to people who don’t have it yet,” said campaign manager Lynn Thomas.

Wednesday’s session was at Kelseys, and the small gathering watched the Tim’s Story video. It’s one man’s story of his journey, along with his wife and 5 kids, through homelessness, and with the Lighthouse Soup Kitchen’s help, on the road to finding a roof to be under and recently, a job.

Glenn Wagner, co-chair of Building Hope gives Brian Paterson a lawn sign for Paterson’s donation.

Information about the scope of the project, what services will be available, and how people can donate through planned giving, and buying aspects of the construction project, like commemorative, yet functional bricks, was given by Lynn Thomas.

She also had some better than great news to share regarding the recent Country Gala. They raised $75,000 from ticket sales, donations, and the art and silent auction; that’s not counting the $10,000 donation from the Chippewas of Rama announced at the gala. Thomas said there will be more money raised as a result of the gala.

“We’re hoping those donations will continue to come in over the next few months from those folks who were at the gala,” said Thomas. “We also hope to get some pledges and some larger donations.”

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia) Potential donors hear the pitch from Lynn Thomas about donating to Building Hope at Kelseys.


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