ACH Foundation Gifts Homeless Agency
Volunteers provide information to attendants of the Project Homeless Connect event in Canton on Aug. 26.
The Stark County Interagency Council on Homelessness received a check for $10,000. (Pictured L-R = Celeste Barnes of the Homeless Services Collaborative, Vashon Williams of the Sisters of Charity, Bill Lavery of Lavery Chevrolet and Stan Jonas of Alliance Community Hospital.)
It was a really big check, in more ways than one.
In front of an enthusiastic and grateful crowd last Thursday, Alliance Community Hospital CEO Stan Jonas, FACHE and Lavery Chevrolet owner and president Bill Lavery presented an oversized check for $10,000 to the Stark County Interagency Council on Homelessness at the Project Homeless Connect at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Canton.
“On behalf of Larry Kehres, who was the co-host of our annual golf tournament this year, and Lavery Chevrolet, which was our event day sponsor, it gives me great pleasure to be able to present this check to you all through the Stark County Interagency Council on Homelessness (SCICH),” said Jonas.
Jonas was referring to the 12th annual Alliance Community Hospital Golf Outing, which took place on June 20th at the Alliance Country Club. The hospital’s philanthropic Foundation hosts the fundraiser yearly and all proceeds equally benefit four area non-profit agencies, including SCICH, the Alliance Family YMCA, the Alliance Neighborhood Center and the Alliance Area Development Foundation.
In 2011, Jonas shared co-hosting duties with Larry Kehres, Head Football Coach of the University of Mount Union. “This is just another of our joint ventures which benefit the community,” Jonas said of the ACH/UMU pairing.
Lavery reiterated Jonas’s sentiment of gratification. “It’s such a pleasure to know this money is going to help so many people. In fact, I look forward to next year’s fundraiser a great deal,” he said.
Project Homeless Connect is an annual daylong event that offers free meals, clothing, haircuts and giveaways to those in need. It is open to the community and offers information on services such as housing, health care, employment, behavioral health, benefits and legal matters to attendants, many of whom are homeless individuals and families or those at risk for becoming so.
Event co-chair Dan Gichevski of the Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority said more than 50 agencies and over 200 volunteers helped to organize and present the event.
“We’re so grateful to everyone who’s donated time or materials or offered support in some way because this event is all about removing the barriers that prevent people from getting the help they need. It’s about putting folks directly in contact with those who can help them take steps to improve their situations,” he said,
Gichevski’s co-chair, Dee Christner, a longtime volunteer with a local chapter of the American Red Cross said, “We want to raise community awareness to the reality of homelessness in our community. When so many volunteers from so many agencies, organizations and colleges see and hear what’s happening, they’ll go back and spread the word and that’s how change happens.”
Jonas concluded by encouraging people to get involved, saying “If anyone wants to help, all they have to do is pick up the phone or go to a website to find out how they can be a change agent in the fight against homelessness.” Celeste Barnes, President of the Homeless Services Collaborative agreed. “It’s amazing how much good can come from one selfless act of giving. The proof is the result of today’s event; this is what happens when individuals come together for the greater good,” she said.
For more information on Project Homeless Connect www.projecthcstarkcounty.weebly.com, www.starkcountyich.org or http://www.starkmhrsb.org/site/PageServer?pagename=HC_SCICH.