Alex English to Headline Family Promise Gala
(COLUMBIA)— Legendary NBA star Alex English will be the celebrity guest at a fundraiser Saturday, April 25, at 701 Whaley to benefit Family Promise of the Midlands, a coalition of 32 local churches whose volunteers support families experiencing homelessness.
English, a Columbia native whose jersey number was recently retired at Dreher High School, played for the University of South Carolina and then in the NBA for 10 seasons with the Denver Nuggets. The franchise’s all-time top scorer, he played in eight straight All-Star Games, won a scoring title, averaged more than 23 points nine years in a row, and led the Nuggets to nine consecutive postseason appearances.
English agreed to headline this year’s gala to help raise awareness of the organization’s specific focus on helping homeless families with children. “I am honored to be partnering with Family Promise of the Midlands in raising awareness to the plight of families experiencing homelessness,” said English. “Homelessness has always been a concern of mine, and this gala will provide much-needed resources. I urge the community to come out and support our effort to lift up these families in crisis.”
An affiliate of the national Family Promise network, Family Promise of the Midlands is now in its sixth year of serving families.
“We believe every child deserves a home, and this gala will help us raise the funds we need to keep families together and safe while they get back on their feet,” said Bonnie Montgomery, board chair.
The gala will feature hors d’oeuvres, an open beer-and-wine bar, free valet parking, music, dancing, and a silent auction, including vacations, custom-made jewelry, artwork, furniture, household supplies, gift cards to a variety of local businesses, and signed sports memorabilia.
Businesses and individuals are invited to become sponsors of the event. Table sponsorships are $1,250. Individual tickets are $100 per person. Sponsorship and ticket information is available via the organization’s website, www.familypromisemidlands.org.
Thirty-two area congregations support the work of Family Promise of the Midlands, providing safe shelter, meals, and support for situationally homeless families with children:
• Ashland United Methodist
• Bethel United Methodist
• Blythewood Presbyterian
• Christ the King Lutheran
• Church of the Cross Episcopal
• Eastminster Presbyterian
• Ebenezer Lutheran
• Forest Lake Presbyterian
• Francis Burns United Methodist
• Gill Creek Baptist
• Good Shepherd Lutheran
• Greenlawn Baptist
• Living Springs Lutheran
• McGregor Presbyterian
• Mt. Hebron United Methodist
• Northminster Presbyterian
• Pine Grove AME
• Redeemer Lutheran
• Seven Oaks Presbyterian
• Shandon Presbyterian
• Shandon United Methodist
• St. Andrews Baptist
• Saint Andrews Lutheran
• St. John’s Episcopal
• St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields Episcopal
• St. Peter’s Roman Catholic
• Saint Mary’s Episcopal
• Trenholm Road United Methodist
• Trinity Presbyterian
• Trinity United Methodist, Blythewood
• Virginia Wingard United Methodist
• Westminster Presbyterian
A director and licensed social worker partner with other community resources to provide support as the adults in these families work to regain and maintain their independence.
In its first five years, Family Promise has served 218 children and their parents/guardians and has assisted thousands more by helping them remain in their homes or by guiding them to appropriate services.