August 18, 2017
 
Father Bill’s & MainSpring Raises $320K via Annual FoodFest

August 3, 2017 — Father Bill’s & MainSpring, a Brockton-based provider of services to prevent and end homelessness in southern Massachusetts, announced that its recently held annual FoodFest fundraiser raised $320,000, besting its goal by $20,000.

The funds will help Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS) fill a 54% state funding gap for its emergency shelters for individuals.

The event, held July 25 at The Launch at Hingham Shipyard and Hingham Beer Works, attracted 850 attendees. Last year's event raised $310,000 from a similar number of people. FoodFest launched in 1995.

FoodFest generates approximately 20% of the amount FBMS raises each year.

John Yazwinski, FBMS president and chief executive officer, said, “Our fundraising increase this year demonstrates that there’s a growing awareness and enthusiasm toward our mission to end homelessness in Southern Massachusetts. Thousands of individuals, including children, are either experiencing or at-risk of homelessness in our communities, and our agency offers innovative solutions through a range of services that help our neighbors get back on their feet and on a path toward self-sufficiency.”

Ninety corporate sponsors supported the event, with other funds coming from ticket sales, a wine pull, and a winner’s choice raffle. Included was a tasting that feature 40 of the South Shore’s most popular restaurants, bakeries, and beverage distributors.

An auction featured a Red Sox jersey autographed by David Ortiz and a Bruins package that included a framed jersey signed by the entire team, game tickets, and a meet-and-greet with the team’s 98.5 Sports Hub radio announcers.

Lead sponsors included Arbella Insurance, Bank of America, Citizens Bank, Flatley Foundation, Granite Telecommunications, Reebok, United Way of Greater Plymouth County, and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.

Founded in 1982, FBMS each year assists 5,000 individuals, including families and children, through emergency shelter, permanent housing, workforce development, case management, and homelessness prevention services.

According to FBMS, the organization last year laid the groundwork for a new family programs model to be introduced in 2017 that aims to more effectively align resources to help families avoid shelter, or exit shelter more quickly to permanent housing, employment, and stability. Also, in 2016, FBMS opened 45 new units for individual adults and eight units for families, bringing to 422 the number of permanent housing units it operates.

For the year ending June 30, 2016, FBMS reported $21.3 million in revenue, of which $1.9 million came from grants and donations, and $20.5 million in expenses, according to its most recently available annual report.

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