8th Annual Fall for Lucy’s Hearth raises $85K

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. — On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Lucy’s Hearth, Newport County’s only shelter for homeless families, hosted its 8th Annual “Fall for Lucy’s Hearth” event in the USTA Wing at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Guest speaker, Nicole Martin with outgoing Director, Jennifer Barrera

The event raised nearly $85,000, which will directly support homeless children and their families to gain permanent housing.

Guest speaker, Nicole Martin with outgoing Director, Jennifer Barrera

Co-chaired by Deborah Linnell, long-term advisor to Lucy’s Hearth, and Todd Martin, CEO of International Tennis Hall of Fame, the event drew an audience of nearly 200 guests who sampled Russell Morin’s culinary delights and listened to Pat Cottrell’s musical performance.

John and Gail Alofsin with Marybeth Hunte

Sharing his love of Lucy’s Hearth, Martin stated, “Lucy’s Hearth is a spectacular organization that consistently provides much needed services to our neighbors. The work they do has a tremendous positive impact on our community. I was introduced to the organization by several International Tennis Hall of Fame staff who volunteer their time for Lucy’s. We are proud to continue that tradition of partnership, and to support the really important work that Lucy’s Hearth does for Aquidneck Island.”

Laurie Stroll and Board Member, Pat Coussa

Linnell continued, “This community has always supported Lucy’s Hearth so deeply. This island is one of the most amazing places I have ever worked.”

Lucy’s Hearth’s Board Chair Mark Gorman kicked off the program and Board Member Dr. Susan Erstling presented the Susan M. Wilson Volunteer of the Year award to long term volunteer, Rachel Cocroft, who donated graphic design services to Lucy’s Hearth.

Outgoing Board Chair, Dr. Susan Erstling, Todd Martin, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Rep. Deborah Ruggiero

Rep. Deborah Ruggiero saluted Lucy’s Hearth’s outgoing Director, Jennifer Barrera and said, “Your passion and love has changed the lives of so many families. Best wishes and highest hopes for your continued success, Jenn.”

Family Service of Rhode Island’s CEO Margaret Holland McDuff highly praised Barrera’s passion for the work. Barrera has been tapped for a statewide role to address the homeless crisis.

Rep. Deborah Ruggiero with Teresa Paiva Weed

Lucy’s Hearth is the only family shelter in Newport County, serving the community since 1984. We offer emergency shelter and permanent housing for homeless families – rapidly rehousing them to break the cycle of homelessness.

Lucy’s Hearth provides housing services, counseling, job skills training, food assistance, education support and children’s activities. While we receive some government funding, we rely primarily on private donations. Our mission is to provide comprehensive programs and services to homeless families in a safe, supportive environment that promotes family health and stability and increases self-sufficiency in order to achieve permanent, affordable housing.

Volunteer of the Year awardee, Rachel Cocroft and outgoing Board Chair, Dr. Susan Erstling

Lucy’s Hearth is now serving more homeless children and their families than ever before due to the severe shortage of affordable housing in Rhode Island. Lucy’s Hearth served a historic high 159 family members, including 58 adults and 101 children.

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