From the Sexual Assault/ Spouse Abuse Resource Center:
Despite a windy evening that presented a challenge for inflating the lighted hot air balloons, more than 225 guests packed Bulle Rock on September 10 for an evening of food, entertainment and celebration that raised $87,000 for SARC, the nonprofit organization that helps victims of domestic and sexual violence, child abuse and stalking in Harford County.
The seventh annual Balloon Glow Gala was a sell-out event that attracted local dignitaries including Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler and Harford County Director of Housing and Community Development Len Parrish. Guests enjoyed a full dinner and open bar, an exciting live auction and dancing to live music by “Don’t Stop,” but perhaps the most memorable moment of the evening came when a former safehouse resident appeared via video to share her personal story of rebuilding her life and the lives of her two young children.
Another highlight of the evening was the Saxon’s Diamond Centers’ raffle. Lucky winners Karen and Patrick Rehnberg took home the grand prize: a $4,000 shopping spree courtesy of Saxon’s Diamond Centers.
Due in part to the success of last year’s Balloon Glow Gala, SARC was able to help 1,670 people, field 2,389 helpline calls, provide 9,536 nights of safe shelter, offer 1,225 counseling sessions to children and adults, give 1,056 legal safety planning sessions, complete 273 attorney court proceedings and present outreach and educational presentations in schools and workplaces. Since its inception, all of SARC’s services have been provided free of charge thanks to the support of donations and sponsorships from the local community.
According to SARC CEO Luisa Caiazzo, this year’s Balloon Glow Gala would not have been possible without the support of sponsors including: Decisive Data Systems; Harford Mutual; Lynch Construction; Harford’s Heart Magazine; Aaron’s; Fallston Group; Jones Junction; Saiontz & Kirk PA; Saxon’s Diamond Centers; APGFCU; Chick-fil-A; Ciampaglio Potter (CPA); Horne Concrete Construction LLC; Innovative Insurance Solutions; Oak Contracting; WSMT Insurance; Chesapeake Employers Insurance; McComas Funeral Home; Elegant Restoration; Harford Bank; Grandizio, Wilkins, Little & Matthews; Bruce Grau & Associates; Raymond James; Kelly & Higinbothom; Macy’s; Michelle Keesee; Battelle; Klein’s Shoprite; Harford Community College; L&L Carpet Discount Center; Plaza Ford Inc.; Wegman’s; Wessel Financial Services; REICO Kitchen & Bath; Harford County Government; ShagrinGas; RedSteel HVAC, Inc.; Stark and Keenan; Dixie Construction; Laurel Bush Family Dentistry; Advance Business Machines; Tenax Technologies; Gemcraft; Jesse Bane; Blue Dot; Emerson Network Power; Ward-Boland Associates; Cove Electric; D&R Construction; Tony DiPaula; Goddard School; Dr. Jeffrey Horowitz; Express Employment; University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health Systems; CPWN; Jen Snyder Photography; Freedom Federal Credit Union; Lite Flight Balloons; Corinthian Olive Oil; McCool Insurance; Coupons.com; Hazel and Larry Hopkins; and 84 Lumber.
For additional information about SARC, including the upcoming Holly’s Hope 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk on October 22, visit www.sarc-maryland.org.
PHOTO: Bob Rich of Saxon’s Diamond Centers (left) presenting the $4,000 Shopping Spree Gift Certificate to winners Karen and Patrick Rehnberg (center) along with SARC CEO Luisa Caiazzo. (Photo credit: Jen Snyder Photography)