Lazarus House Ministries Gala Raises $472K, Setting a Record

February 18, 2019 — Lazarus House Ministries, a Lawrence-based nonprofit that provides emergency shelter and related services to help break the cycle of poverty, announced that it raised $472,000 at its recently held annual gala, setting a record.

Lazarus House Ministries said the funds will be used to provide emergency services through the winter.

Bridget Shaheen, executive director of the organization, said “There are no words for the gratitude we have for the people whose goodness and generosity make the work of Lazarus House possible. From our donors to our guests, to our staff to our volunteers, every piece is equally important in making a better life for those we serve.”

The gala, held in November at Andover Country Club sought to raise $500,000 and attract 400 people, the same number of attendees as the year before. A total of 445 people attended.

Last year's gala raised $400,000, according to the Andover Townsman.

Funds were raised via ticket sales, silent and live auctions, and fund-the-mission cash donations at the event.

The Sharing Our Bounty gala generated about five percent of Lazarus House Ministries's annual budget.

Attending the event were Gov. Charlie Baker and Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, who recognized Shaheen for her "uplifting spirit, inclusive nature, compassionate character and the excellent work she has done in the Lawrence community.

Dr. Reverend Paul Burton of WBZ-TV News served as master of ceremonies, and WCVB Newscenter 5 news anchor Ed Harding served as auctioneer.

Julie Zavrl, owner of Tiny Tunes Andover, lead sponsor of the event, said, “Growing up in Andover there were so many of us sheltered from the sad reality of the people living in poverty so close to home. Even now, many of our neighbors in the Merrimack Valley are struggling and need a helping hand during these challenging times."

Established as an emergency homeless shelter in 1983, Lazarus House Ministries provides services to struggling individuals and families. It has developed an extensive learning environment that provides English as a Second Language and work prep classes and training for success to enable the people they serve to become self-reliant.

Lazarus House Ministries is currently seeking a new executive director to replace Shaheen, who is stepping down after nearly 26 years in the job.