Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Friday, March 28, 2014
'Women of Integrity, Men of Valor' fundraiser April 3

Samuel's House will hold its annual "Women of Integrity, Men of Valor" dinner at 6:30 p.m. April 3 at the Westin Key West Resort and Marina, 245 Front St.

The event is a major fundraising event for the 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which provides safe and sober temporary shelter for homeless women, and women with small children, as well as longer term housing for women and children, and intact families.

As in years past, the fundraiser is being held to honor some of the local men and women whose philanthropic efforts have helped to make Key West a better place for all its citizens. At the same time, the gathering is an opportunity to raise funds by way of a large silent auction with hundreds of items to choose from.

"After 14 years, in recognition of this event, we would like to say thank you to these honorees, who have given so much of themselves to our community," said Samuel's House Founder and Executive Director Elmira Leto. "We hope the community will come to salute their efforts as well."

This year's honorees, many of whom will be on hand for the occasion, include Christopher Elwell, for the arts category; John Anderson, for children's advocate; Estrella "Star" Norris, for children's health care; Carrie Grooms, for education; the Rev. Darryl Robinson, for faith-based services; Dr. Darel Pruett, humanitarian; Chuck Brown, for overall community; Doria Goodrich, for philanthropy; Edward, Frank, and George Toppino, for philanthropy; and Robert Walker, posthumous.

Three Samuel's House clients, including Yvonne Jefferson, will also discuss how the nonprofit has changed their lives for the better.

"They've been very supportive and it's a better atmosphere than any agency I've been to before," said Jefferson, who lives at Samuel's House with her son, Ian, 17, and daughter Leia, 12. "A lot of the program is geared for families. And if the case workers can't help me with something, they can find someone who can. They're just great people."

Past honorees have included such local luminaries as County Mayor Wilhelmina Harvey, Sheriff Rick Ramsey, Key West Police Community Affairs Officer Steve Torrence, and philanthropists Ann McKee, and Mary Spottswood.

Silent-auction items include local artwork and books, gift baskets, airplane rides, gift certificates for meals at some of Key West's finest restaurants, and more.

Admission is $60 per person, including dinner. Tables seating 10 are available at a cost of $600. Drinks will be available from a cash bar.

Tickets are still available, and Samuel's House is still looking for items for the silent auction.

To purchase tickets, or for information, call 305-296-0240, send an email to samuelshouse1@comcast.net, or go to http://samuelshouse.org/

tschmida@keysnews.com

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