Courteous Communications Supports Health Care Center for the Homeless
A Courteous Communications attended the Heart to Heart Gala in support of the Health Care Center for the Homeless on November 7th, 2014. The live receptionist service team here at Courteous Answering Service was represented by Doris Primicerio, President and CEO of our business answering service located right here in Orlando, Florida.
The Health Care Center for the Homeless has been serving the uninsured and homeless with hope and health since 1993. In effort to increase the funds available to support the many programs within multiple health facilities, Health Care Center for the Homeless hosted their 5th Annual Heart to Heart Gala at the Hilton, Altamonte Springs, Florida.
Bakari F. Burns, MPH, MBA, CEO of Health Care Center for the Homeless opened the evening’s events with their mission statement…
“to provide quality health care services that improve the lives of the homeless and medically indigent people of our community.”
The gala began with a silent auction, items on auction varied and included everything from facials for a year, to a hand painted picture of the Beatles. The silent auction opened right along with the doors of the gala promptly at 5:30 pm. This provided guests the ability to bid for two hours. The auction ended with a full 60 second in stereo countdown. Guest scurried around the display tables trying to outbid each other. It was very entertaining watching beautiful women in full gala apparel run around tables to finalize and secure their bids.
A beautiful dinner of grilled chicken and roasted mushrooms & green beans was enjoyed be all. As the room grew quiet with everyone enjoying their meal, Nancy, a once homeless woman in need of medical attention shared her story with us. As she fought back the tears she described the personal tragedy of losing both of her parents at a very young age. She was separated from her siblings as they were all placed with different family members around the US, ultimately leading her to homelessness.
She described her journey into Florida from Massachusetts as a mission to save her own life, the winters in Mass were almost the death of her, and the warmth of Florida was her only saving grace. Nancy became very ill and was unable to make the journey by foot any longer to the county health center. She described the day that the volunteers for the Health Care Center for the Homeless found her lying in her tent as, “a day she was in God’s hands.” The volunteers provided transportation to their stay-well center where she was nursed back to health.
The most impactful thing I heard that entire evening was her statement, “Not ever, did anyone from HCCH treat me any different because I was homeless. They made me feel like I was part of their family.” There was not a dry eye at the gala. She concluded her story with a picture of her new home saying, “It is not grand, but it is mine.” The room came to a standing ovation when she closed with, “Health Care Center for the Homeless saved my life.”
Next on the agenda was the auctioning of the beautiful floral center pieces from each table. With the president sitting at the table purchased for A Courteous Communications in support of the cause, we selected Doris as our auctioneer. Each table’s auctioneer had 60 seconds to fulfill bids from the guest at their table until the final bid was made at the 60 second point.
Doris did a fantastic job as our auctioneer and came in 3rd place for the highest bid per table. The final bid that won for our table was $55.00. The second place table had a final bid at $75.00. The first place bid went to a gentleman at the table next to us for $170.00. I was close enough to hear the gentleman ask the auctioneer for his table, “What did I just buy?” His auctioneer replied with, “some very nice flowers.” I was smiling from ear to ear.
The live auction was next. First item up for grabs was the new iPad mini. The auctioneer volleyed from table to table until bids reached an outstanding number of $770.00. Once the final bid was accepted, she announced a surprise, “We actually have two of them.” This meant that the runner-up bid also won the new gadget for $760.00. Everyone shared smiles around the gala at the surprise, what a fantastic way to raise money for the cause.
The live auction wrapped up with a 7 day, 6 night stay in Hawaii. The winner of that bid is in for a real treat, the pictures of the all-inclusive resort were gorgeous.
The final event of the night was a live auction for the single men in the audience. A single man was selected from each table (we offered up a married man, it was all we had) to receive live, on-the-spot dance lessons (in front of everyone). Watching these men learn next-to-impossible dance moves was just divine. As we said goodbye to our guests, a beautiful display of the sponsors for the event were cast over the room-sized screens.
The A Courteous Communications company logo flashed up on the screen, a feeling of pride warmed over me. A Courteous Communications Supports Health Care Center for the Homeless, as well as several other wonderful foundations such as, Feeding Children Everywhere, Ronald McDonald House, Christian Service Center for Central Florida, and The ALS Association.