Thursday, October 19th, marked FOCUS West Central PA’s 3rd Annual Dinner. The evening began with a lovely introduction from FOCUS Advisory Board Member Marion Vasilakis, followed by a delicious catered meal and fellowship with FOCUS personnel, volunteers, donors, and friends.
Following the meal, keynote speaker Stephanie Schindel discussed the seemingly hopeless situation that FOCUS West Central PA attempts to confront in our communities. Ms. Schindel, a teacher in the Human Service Program at Geneva College, Trails Ministry Board Member, and Elementary School Counselor, provided a unique perspective on the reality of what ministry really is, and how we must approach a life of service to others if we hope not to be discouraged and disheartened by how immense our responsibility is. Her speech was truly uplifting to many in attendance, and we thank her for her words of wisdom and inspiration.
Father Seraphim Moslener, Director of FOCUS West Central PA, extended his gratitude to all volunteers who have donated their time and effort to FOCUS West Central PA over the past year, recognizing those who were in attendance. We also had the pleasure of hearing what effect the volunteers’ efforts have had on the students they serve through our Weekend Backpack Program. A special “Thank You” to Ms. Lori Miller, for sharing her students’ experiences with us!
FOCUS North America’s very own Sarah Arnold also thanked FOCUS West Central PA for its overwhelming kindness and openness, sharing her own stories. She spoke of the bonds she has already forged in the short time she has interacted with FOCUS West Central PA, and looks forward to our growth in the coming years. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing this wonderful evening with us.
Much to our delight, two of our volunteers did what they do best, and volunteered to sing for us. Their heavenly voices moved our hearts, and we thank the Carter Sisters, Loretta and Vi, for their wonderful, heartfelt contribution to last night’s festivities.
Thank you to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Ambridge for donating the use of their beautiful hall for our event, and thank you to the 74 people in attendance for your donations, your time, and your love. Without all of you, FOCUS West Central PA would not be able to touch the hearts of so many and make a tangible difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate.
We look forward to the coming year with zeal and hope, and we leave you with a message we hope will continue to resonate in your hearts until we all meet again for our next Annual Dinner in 2019!