Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Operation Home for the Holidays

Gov. M. Jodi Rell is getting some help for her “Operation Home for the Holidays” initiative to bring 700 Connecticut’s National Guard service men and women home for December break and the effort needs your help too.

CT TweetCrawl, Fathom and Lisa Davenport’s Home Gallery will help Rell raise $200,000 by acting as hosts for a Nov. 14 fundraiser at Home Gallery warehouse in Marlborough, organizers said.

“We wanted to host an event at the warehouse and had several great causes in mind. Once the governor announced Operation Home for the Holidays, we knew we had our cause,” Ed Richman, co-owner of Lisa Davenport’s Home Gallery, said in a statement.

The Warehouse Party event hopes to raise at least $25,000 through a dinner fundraiser to be held 6 to 7:30 p.m., with food provided by Hartford-based Agave, and a dance party from 7:30 p.m. to midnight.

Corporate sponsors will pay for the dinner; the dance party will be open to the public for $40 per person. Raffles donated by area businesses will help raise the bulk of the donations, organizers said.

T-shirts will also be sold after the event to continue raising money.

Tickets to the dance party can be purchased online at: http://ophome.eventbrite.com/. The group has formed a Facebook event and the Twitter tag “#ophome.”

“There is a lot of power in word-of-mouth, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or good old face-to-face. We are asking everyone to use those powers for good and help us bring Connecticut’s own home,” Suzi Craig, director of marketing and engagement for Fathom and founder of CT TweetCrawl, said in the statement.
Ann Nyberg, co-anchor for Ch. 8 WTNH, is emcee for the dinner and Damon Scott of 96.5 WTIC will lead the dance party portion of the evening, organizers said. Local celebrities and Connecticut National Guard families will join the festivities.
Connecticut Army National Guard troops from two units, the 1st Battalion of the 102nd Infantry Regiment and the 250th Engineering Company, will be bused in from their “mobilization stations” in Indiana and Wisconsin, respectively, where they will be completing preparations for deploying to Afghanistan.

Rell's fund-raising effort is part of Operation ELF, or Embracing Lonely Families. For sponsorship opportunities, in-kind donations for the event’s raffle or more information, call Craig at (860) 384-4480 or e-mail suzi@fathom.net.

For direct donations, make checks payable to “CTNGFI” and send to: Connecticut National Guard Foundation, Inc., 360 Broad St., Hartford, 06105-3706

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