Thanks for Making Our First 25 Years Successful
On March 24th, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County celebrated more than two decades of investing in families, homes, and communities across Montgomery County with nearly 300 guests at RTMC’s 25th Anniversary Breakfast.
Sandra Hernandez, National COO of Rebuilding Together, and Dr. Robert King, RTMC board chairman, took to the podium as emcees at the event and guided us though an unforgettable collection of home repair, volunteer engagement and homeowner success stories. The guided tour down memory lane helped us all to see just how important the last 25 years of RTMC’s work have been to the county, to the community, and to the volunteers and sponsors who have made it all happen.
While attendees enjoyed a french toast breakfast, fresh fruit and sausage, several special guest spoke to RTMC’s strong merits and strategic partnerships. County Council President Nancy Floreen and Councilmembers Sidney Katz, Craig Rice, and Roger Berliner presented RTMC executive director Christina Betancourt Johnson with a proclamation that outlined RTMC’s significance and contributions to the County. “the work that Rebuilding Together does is critical. Your efforts help people maintain a safe, healthy and affordable place to live,” said Floreen.
Maryland Secretary of Housing and Community Development Kenneth Hope spoke to the great need across the county and the dire situations that vulnerable families face in their homes.
David Trone, CEO of Bethesda-based Total Wine & More, followed up with the importance of RTMC’s collaborative approach to engaging businesses, churches and nonprofits across the County. He then introduced the keynote speaker Kimberly Sorenson, an RTMC homeowner/client. When Sorenson took the stage and told her story, you could have heard a pin drop. She patiently recounted the challenges her family had to confront in dealing with her daughter’s battle with cancer and carefully told how RTMC made repairs to their home. According to Sorenson, “When I applied to RTMC for assistance…in addition to mold being a major factor, the heating and electrical systems were in various stages of disrepair. Smoke detectors were needed, as well as missing stair banisters and floor boards. RTMC came into my home and fixed it up – addressing more than 20 issues,” said Sorenson. “I am forever grateful for the assistance that Rebuilding Together provided and because of you, I am here today.”
There was special tribute to our much-loved co-founder Gordon Hawk by The Honorable Connie Morella, who shared a few memories and reminded us of poet Edwin Markham’s famous admonition that none goes his way alone. Morella presented the Visionary Award to his wife, Page Browning Hawk and announced the new Hawk Handyman Program which was named in Gordon’s honor.
Last but not least, awards were given to 14 faith-based organizations 4 business partners and 5 individuals whose commitment to RTMC’s mission and our communities have been outstanding. The complete list of awardees is here.
The event closed with co-founder Jay Treadwell speaking to Mother Teresa’s quote: “I alone cannot change the world but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples”. He reminded us that creating ripples is what Rebuilding Together Montgomery County is all about. Each RTMC supporter is a stone thrower. When we volunteer we encourage others to volunteer. When we invest money to the organization we multiply our money with RTMC’s ability to leverage our investment. When we help a client, we rebuild our community…one home at a time.
Many thanks to all of the event sponsors, event attendees, volunteers, donors and partner organizations who make our work possible. Our 25th Anniversary Breakfast raised a total of $50,000 to support RTMC’s mission. Fourteen thousand of that total came from individual donations–$5000 from a matching grant, with an amazing $9000 that our friends and supporters left in the miniature tool boxes in the centerpiece of each of the tables.
Thank you to all for your commitment and here’s to the promise of another successful 25 years!