FAIRFIELD — On Thursday, May 9, Operation Hope of Fairfield will host its 18th Annual Evening of Hope to raise funds to provide housing, food and counseling services, breaking the cycle of poverty for those most in need in the community. Operation Hope is bringing a little taste of New Orleans to Fairfield, with the theme of “Mardi Gras in May” for its most significant fundraiser. Beads, masks and all that jazz, the public is invited to an evening of revelry to celebrate the support and dedication of the surrounding community. The festivities will feature Community Hero awards, silent and live auctions and more. Guests are encouraged to dress in festive attire.

“Evening of Hope is our most eagerly anticipated fundraiser of the year, offering our guests the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of individuals and families who are truly struggling in our community,” said Darrin Fodor, Evening of Hope Chair. “We share a commitment with the many businesses and individuals who support Evening of Hope that no one in our community should be hungry and that everyone in our community should have supportive relationships, hope for the future and a place to call home.

“We are deeply grateful to our generous sponsors to date: Diamond Sponsor AvalonBay Communities; Emerald Sponsors First County Bank, The Store at First Church; Ruby Sponsors Black Rock Church, People’s United Bank and Santa Fuel; Sapphire Sponsors Betsy Ryan Interiors and First Church Congregational; and Media Sponsor Fairfield Magazine/TownVibe.

“Evening of Hope is a wonderful event,” said Carla Miklos, Executive Director, Operation Hope. “Not only is it an opportunity to honor some very special friends, it’s also a reminder that there are still neighbors who need food, housing and clinical support services in our community. Through our Food Pantry, Affordable Housing program and Homeless Response Center, our team provides solutions for those who find themselves newly experiencing homelessness and housing instability. Because of the funds raised, we will be able to take care of our neighbors, and help them get back on their feet to lead productive lives.”

As is tradition, Operation Hope recognizes “Community Heroes” who have helped Operation Hope advance its mission:

The Reverend Spollett/Rabbi Waldman Award - Honoree Alexander J. Trembicki, Esq. will be recognized for serving as a longtime Operation Hope volunteer and advisor and for being a committed community servant whose skills are assets to the organizations that benefit from his guidance and service.

The Stewart B. and Lucie C. McKinney Award - Honoree People’s United Bank has had community giving as its central mission for more than 176 years. From providing foundational support and mortgage lending to purchase affordable housing units for low income neighbors as they move from homeless situations to more permanent housing to its employees often serving on Operation Hope’s Board of Directors, People’s United’s support of Operation Hope runs deeps.

The Jacky Durrell Award - Since 1813, honoree Bridgeport Ladies Charitable Society is one of the few organizations serving Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull unmatched for length of continuous charitable service to its community. What sets the Society apart from other institutions is that it does not fund large programs or initiatives but offers financial assistance for individuals with critical needs when there are no other resources. The funding provided by the Society fills in gaps for many of Operation Hope’s clients, helping them overcome challenges and fulfilling immediate needs.

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available and open to the public. By supporting Evening of Hope, you help Operation Hope directly provide housing, food, counseling and more for our neighbors in need. Join us in one of the following ways:

• Sponsor the event at one of four levels

• Purchase individual tickets or reserve a table

• Purchase an ad in the ad journal

• Donate a live or silent auction item

For tickets and sponsorship/ad/auctions information, contact Development Manager Beth Andrews at bandrews@operationhopect.org or 203-292-5588 x225 or purchase online at bit.ly/ohgala2019