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The evening of Wednesday, December 16th marked the occasion of the 14th annual “Homeless Awareness” Dinner supported by Ohio Valley Goodwill and held at the beautiful Sharonville Convention Center.
This year’s event welcomed more than 300 guests including 54 children under the age of 16 from local community shelters who are currently struggling with the challenge of homelessness. Ohio Valley Goodwill is a partner agency with the Greater Cincinnati Continuum of Care which is an association of more than 22 local organizations that provide a host of services for individuals struggling with homelessness.
With a warm welcome offered by Ohio Valley Goodwill Special Projects Manager, Bill Darnell, guests were invited to enjoy the lavish holiday spread graciously prepared and served by Ovations Catering. This is the fourth year in a row that Ovations has generously sponsored the delicious meal which included roast turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes, salad and of course, a selection of delicious desserts.
The extravagant meal was accompanied by Christmas music provided by a DJ and later, dance tunes that got everyone up on their feet. In addition, the Ovations team had thoughtfully organized a kids play table with coloring books, crayons, puzzles and more which was of course, a hit with the youngest guests in attendance.
The highlight of the evening as always, was the arrival of Santa who was the star attraction and quickly all of the children lined up to share their wishes for Christmas. Notably, every child when asked, reported that they have been very good this year. Each child then had the chance to sit on Santa’s lap and receive a teddy bear as well as a candy cane.
This year all of the festivities were documented by WCPO channel 9 news who were on hand to film and share the story. “Goodwill is grateful to WCPO for their coverage of the 14th annual Homeless Awareness dinner which really helps to put a spotlight on the issue of homelessness in our community,” said Sharon Hannon, Goodwill Marketing Manager. “The event also reflects the true meaning of the holiday spirit,” added Hannon.
To find out more about Ohio Valley Goodwill’s programs and services for individuals struggling with homelessness, visit www.cincinnatigoodwill.org/services. Our most sincere thanks to the Sharonville Convention Center, Ovations Catering and WCPO for their support of the 14th annual Homeless Awareness Dinner event.