By Marianne Weaver
The BARN Community Housing in Bristow is hosting its 20th annual gala, “Home for the Holidays,” to raise the funds needed to continue their mission of ending homelessness, one family at a time.
“This event is our largest fundraiser of the year,” said Bond Cavazos, BARN Community Housing community resources coordinator. “We rely on the funds raised from this event to provide for our families and pay our operating costs.”
Formerly known as “The Festival of Trees,” this year’s black-tie optional event will be held Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Westin Dulles. Although the name has changed, the mission remains the same: Celebrate the season while supporting a worthy cause.
Tickets cost $150 per person. A group of 10 can reserve a table for $1,500, which includes a private waiter and wine service.
“Everything is included—cocktail hour, sit down dinner (with a vegetarian option),” said Cavazos. “There’s a live band—Bill Vaughn and Random Acts. They play holiday music and requests. And the dance floor is open until 11:00 p. m..”
For those who don’t want to drive, the BARN has set up a block of rooms that Westin for less than $100.
As per tradition, Cavazos said there will be a silent auction.
“We are so excited because we have amazing donations,” said Cavazos. “There is something from Tiffany and Co., Whitetail Ski Resort, club seat packages to basketball and hockey games, a Kate Spade item, and more!”
In addition to the silent auction, this year there will also be a live auction. Guests can bid on a Broadway package, which includes tickets and dinner with cast members, and a seven-day culinary excursion to Tuscany, Italy.
Cavazos said she hopes to sell all the available 350 tickets.
“If we do not raise the money that it costs to help the families, we don’t get to continue our mission to help homeless families,” she said. “The more we raise, the more people we can help.”
In addition to individual gala tickets, individual and organizations can purchase sponsorships, ranging from $1,000 for a centerpiece sponsorship to the $10,00 Williamsburg package, which includes two reserved tables for 10, private waiter, multiple company logo displays, marketing promotions, and signature drink sponsorship.
The BARN Community Housing is committed to providing families housing and access to supportive services to promote healing, growth and self-sufficiency. Started by the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, a small Order of Catholic Sisters, the 501(c)3 secular non-profit provides clean, safe housing for families in need of a helping hand.
The housing is occupied by 12 families, who are offered life-skill classes that teach budgeting skills, goal-setting skills and crisis management tools. Since opening its doors in 1997, the BARN has helped more than 1,000 families find secure and stable shelter.
“The more we succeed, the more we can extend into the community,” said Cavazos. “If we have support from communities and busies we ca support the people who really need it the most.”
Monetary donations may be made through the website: barncommunityhousing.org.