Letters to the Editor

FUSION founder thanks community and volunteers

By Peggy LaPorte, FUSION Event Sponsor Chair

Dear Friends of FUSION,

Just as the lights go down and the dramatic beginning of a theatrical performance begins on Broadway, so the clouds parted and the sun began to shine on FUSION’s 16th annual art benefit, “Give My Regards to Broadway,” on Aug. 5, 2009.

The stage was set for a fabulous garden party at the Dumas Bay Centre.

Under the creative and dynamic leadership of chairperson Judy Free, and with the help of more than 100 volunteers, event sponsors and community supporters, FUSION hosted a very successful fundraiser that netted $95,000 for its transitional housing program for homeless families. The Master of Ceremonies, Melanie Roach, 2008 U.S. Olympic weight-lifter, presided over the evening’s festivities.

Guests savored spectacular culinary delights created by the principal sponsor of the event, Metropolitan Market. Original and creative works of art by 35 local artists were featured in the Art Walk. Silent and live auctions offered numerous items including a beautiful two-week vacation villa in Portugal donated by Federal Way Muscular Therapy; a pastel pearl necklace donated by Jeffrey Jewelers; a cruise on Holland America; a sight-seeing flight trip over Puget Sound; wine; dinner parties; and exciting vacation packages. These are just a sampling of the many donated auction items for this year’s event.

Swinging at the Sands Band played Broadway-inspired tunes on stage. Jo Kiser, Holly Rose, Brian Souschek and Carol Stanley entertained guests throughout the evening while Poverty Bay Coffee Company provided refreshing espresso drinks for guests.

Funds raised at this event will be invested in our transitional housing and support services for families in the Federal Way and NE Tacoma communities. FUSION (Friends United to Shelter the Indigent, Oppressed and Needy) currently maintains and operates 15 fully furnished housing units and contracts case management services through Valley Cities Counseling and Consultation. FUSION hopes to acquire a 16th transitional housing unit in 2010.

The “fusion” of community efforts has enabled our volunteer-based, non-profit organization to grow and provide for the needs of families in transition as they work toward self-sufficiency. Over the past three years, 93 percent of the families we have provided housing to have successfully moved on to permanent housing.

On behalf of the FUSION Board of Directors and the families we serve, we want to thank you for your continued support. Without the generous support of so many individuals, businesses, churches, foundations and government entities, we would not be able to provide the needed services to homeless families in our communities. By working together, we are able to empower families, giving them hope, and enabling them to realize their dreams of a stable and secure future.

Sincerely,

Peggy LaPorte, FUSION Event Sponsor Chair

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