Exeter, NH—October 28, 2020—Although its biennial Gala and Auction has been canceled due to the pandemic, RiverWoods Exeter is encouraging the communities it serves to still support its 2020 beneficiary, Seacoast Family Promise (SFP).
“We hope that the local community who would have joined us at this event will remember them as we move into the winter season and holidays,” said Deb Riddell, executive director of RiverWoods Exeter.
Since opening 26 years ago, RiverWoods has hosted a fundraiser on behalf of another local non-profit every two years.
“Our staff and residents work with the local community to solicit donations of goods and services that are then auctioned off at the Gala via live and silent auctions,” said Riddell.
The last gala raised more than $160,000 to support SFP, which has helped families who are experiencing homelessness find stable housing and return to self-sufficiency since 2003.
Expressing appreciation at the long-term partnership and friendship SFP has enjoyed with RiverWoods Exeter, Executive Director Pati Frew-Waters said she and her entire staff are “committed to meeting complex community needs.”
“Now is not the time to cut back our services,” she said.
Noting they serve hundreds of families on an annual basis, Frew-Waters said her hope is that the community can help fill in gaps created due to the Gala’s cancellation.
“We are looking for food, as many of our families don’t have children going to school now, so that need is greater than it has ever been,” she said. “Clothes, gas cards, gift cards to retail stores and pharmacies are needed, too.”
In looking ahead, Riddell said she hopes the event can return in 2021.
“We are devastated we are not able to offer this important source of fundraising to them at this time, but we continue to work with SFP in smaller ways,” she said.
As for immediate next steps for SFP, Frew-Waters said her concern relates to preparedness for the holidays and beyond.
“The cold weather puts a strain on people emotionally and financially,” she said. “We are preparing ourselves.”
To learn more about SFP, including items needed to support those served by the agency, visit seacoastfamilypromise.org.
For more information about RiverWoods Exeter, part of the largest family of non-profit CCRCs in Northern New England, visit RiverWoodsExeter.org.
Further Information: Adelle Gabrielson, Marketing Manager, 603.658.3048