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Journey Home Holding ‘Prom’ at West Hartford Town Hall

Courtesy of Journey Home

Journey Home’s ’80s Prom will be held on Friday, April 19, 2024 at West Hartford Town Hall.

Journey Home is holding an 80s Prom. Courtesy of Journey Home

By Ronni Newton

Each year, the nonprofit Journey Home hosts a themed fundraiser to support the organization’s work to end homelessness in the Greater Hartford area, and this year’s will feature “bodacious” food and drink, “gnarly” entertainment, and a “rad” silent auction – guaranteeing a “totally tubular time” for all who attend.

It’s a chance for those of a certain age to relive their high school days – or maybe get a chance at a do-over – while also supporting the important mission of Journey Home. Blue eyeshadow and big hair, along with other 80s styles, are welcome and encouraged.

“You’ll be able to take prom pics, spike the punch, crown a court, and dance to some truly amazing music.All of this fun AND you are also supporting our amazing work here at Journey Home. What could be more totally tubular? We can’t think of anything so click here to get your tickets now … tickets are flying faster than the latest neon leg warmers of 1988!” states an announcement of the event. Sponsorships are available as well.

The 80s Prom will be held in the auditorium of West Hartford Town Hall on Friday, April 19, from 7 to 10 p.m.

The playlist will include Madonna, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, George Michael, David Bowie, Run DMC, Blondie, and Bon Jovi.

Journey Home will not only be fundraising, but will also be celebrating the organization’s recognition and receipt of a $2 million gift as an awardee of the Yield Giving Open Call that was announced this month.

Yield Giving launched an Open Call last year for “community-led, community-focused organizations whose explicit purpose is to enable individuals and families to achieve substantive improvement in their well-being through foundational resources.” There were 6,353 applications from all 5o states as well as Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, and Yield Giving originally intended to give 250 awards of $1 million each. “In the fall of 2023, organizations top-rated by their peers advanced to a second round of review by an external Evaluation Panel recruited for experience relevant to this cause, and underwent a final round of due diligence. In light of the incredible work of these organizations, as judged by their peers and external panelists, the donor team decided to expand the awardee pool and the award amount,” the announcement states.

Journey Home Executive Director Matt Morgan said in a statement, “They’re not asking us to do anything different. They’re saying you’re doing a really good job. Keep going, we trust you. That means so much to us. It gives us the opportunity to do what we do best – be creative, test ideas, and innovate.  We are so grateful for the support of Yield Giving and the work that they are not only making possible here in our community but in communities all over our nation.  It’s remarkable.”

Sara Salomons Wilson, Journey Home’s director of Development and Operations, said the $2 million is a no-strings-attached gift without restrictions, “which is simply amazing.”

She said that Journey Home has many ideas for use of the funds, and is working with a strategic planner to identify how it can make the biggest impact.

“A few of the ideas we are considering include advancing homelessness prevention activities, accelerating our work to house individuals sleeping in encampments with the services they need, and expanding Journey Home’s furniture bank program to be able to serve more people at a faster pace in a wider geographic region,” she said.  “Whatever we pursue, we look forward to having the opportunity to do some amazing work that we never would have thought possible without this gift.”

In a statement, Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change, said, “We are excited that our partnership with Yield Giving has resonated with so many organizations. In a world teeming with potential and talent, the Open Call has given us an opportunity to identify, uplift, and empower transformative organizations that often remain unseen.”

About Yield Giving

Established by MacKenzie Scott to share a financial fortune created through the effort of countless people, Yield Giving is named after a belief in adding value by giving up control. To date, Yield’s network of staff and advisors has yielded over $16,500,000,000 to 1,900+ non-profit teams to use as they see fit for the benefit of others. To learn more, visit www.yieldgiving.com.

About Lever for Change

Lever for Change connects donors with bold solutions to the world’s biggest problems—including issues like racial inequity, gender inequality, lack of access to economic opportunity, and climate change. Using an inclusive, equitable model and due diligence process, Lever for Change creates customized challenges and other tailored funding opportunities. Top-ranked teams and challenge finalists become members of the Bold Solutions Network – a growing global network that helps secure additional funding, amplify members’ impact, and accelerate social change. Founded in 2019 as a nonprofit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Lever for Change has influenced over $1.7 billion in grants to date and provided support to more than 145 organizations. To learn more, visit www.leverforchange.org.

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