The second line band is coming through the crowd playing When the Saints Go Marching In and festive dancers are bouncing purple, green and gold umbrellas in the air. The Big Easy is in the River City.
“A Night At” is an annual themed celebration that raises money to provide assistance to homeless children and adults in Richmond, Virginia. “A Night At Mardi Gras” was the theme for the sixth annual celebration and fundraiser thrown by Housing Families First.
Housing Families First provides emergency shelter to roughly forty of over 600 of Richmond’s homeless children and adults, in addition; to assisting over 50 families in obtaining permanent housing. “Although grants help, the funding we raise tonight helps turn on utilities and provides transportation to jobs” stated Denise Thompson-Brown, Housing Families First Case Worker.
While the night’s purpose was never forgotten, the party was gleeful and light-hearted. Beth Vann-Turnbull, Executive Director of Housing Families First said “this was a crowd who likes to have fun” and she was telling the truth.
There was never a dull moment on the dance floor and the President of Housing Families First, Sarah Brockwell was the ringleader of joy. When asked to sum up the night in one quote she jubilantly responded “Oh My Gosh, Girl! Everyone should have hope and everyone should have a home.” Sarah’s excitement and commitment to providing for Richmond’s homeless families was the real theme of the night.
Everyone expressed deep gratitude and a sense of duty to provide hope and homes to the homeless. Many of the guests attended the previous events including A Night at Old Havana and A Night at the Disco.
Beth Vann-Turnbull hinted at the 80’s for the seventh annual themed party. So, get your leg warmers and hair spray ready because you don’t miss next year’s “A Night At.” In the meantime, volunteer opportunities are available for adults, children and businesses. Turnbull says that there are many ways to get involved, including DIY projects that can be delivered to the shelter. She encourages others to contact Terri Iginia to schedule a tour of the shelter located at 3900 Nine Mile Road.