8/11/2020, 5:08 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

IRVINE, CA, Aug. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Get ready to light up the night for a brighter tomorrow at the 36th Anniversary Families Forward Gala in support of their vital mission to support and empower at-risk and homeless families. While safely following social distance guidelines, the event will be an all-virtual celebration on Friday, August 28th at 7:00 p.m.  

“We had to be creative this year,” said Madelynn Hirneise, CEO, Families Forward. “Instead of postponing our gala, we decided to try something new. A virtual format seemed like the perfect way to accomplish our fundraising goals while still being mindful of the social distancing recommendations.”

Families Forward is celebrating 36 years of proudly serving Orange County by honoring the following individuals who represent the community-at-large and have been strong supporters of Families Forward. Volunteers Kate Lockhart and Michelle Dean are being honored with the Partner in Hope Award, for their volunteerism and commitment in establishing our Prevention & Diversion Program that currently serves more than 1,000 families a year. Irvine-based FUTEK is being recognized with the Spirit of Community Award, for their continued support, sponsorship and long-standing commitment to the Families Forward organization.                   

“Our virtual celebration invites the community to support Families Forward in a safe way,” noted Hirneise. “A Watch Party Access Pass can be purchased online for $150 and includes a favors and flavors celebration kit. It will definitely be a night to remember with motivating guest speakers and inspiring tributes.” Tickets for the 36th anniversary gala are now on sale at https://bit.ly/2B5B9HB.

In addition to the awards and celebration, the gala will feature an online silent auction with unique items and experiences. The silent auction will go live on August 21; to see a complete listing of items visit https://families-forward.ejoinme.org/lightupthenight.

“Families Forward is constantly looking for ways to innovate and serve our community during these challenging times,” said Hirneise. “We have been operating a drive-thru food assistance program to observe proper distancing and sanitation protocols, providing more than 36,000 individuals with hunger relief.  In addition, we have been able to continue our other supportive services virtually through a variety of video and phone conferencing with educational workshops held via Zoom,” concluded Hirneise.

Families Forward is excited to announce FUTEK as the presenting sponsor for this year’s event. This is the third year FUTEK has been the presenting sponsor for the gala. Additional sponsors helping families Navigate Home include Pacific Premier Bank, Meg & Brian English and Teri & Alan Hoops.

For more information, please contact Families Forward at 949-552-2727 or www.families-forward.org, or visit the Donate section https://www.families-forward.org/donate/ to see how you can help families build a path to self-sufficiency.


About Families Forward

Since 1984, Families Forward has worked with families to help them achieve self-sufficiency through housing, food, counseling, career coaching, education, and other support services. Operating with a guiding principle of support with accountability, last year Families Forward improved the lives of more than 10,000 children and adults by providing safety-net services through the framework of our values: Dignity, Empowerment, Accountability, Community Spirit and Hope. Families Forward serves families throughout Orange County.

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Francine Bangert
Families Forward
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