Light Up Rosslyn: A-SPAN's Help-the-Homeless Holiday Gala
A-SPAN is known for their ability to transform lives and their community. Their gala, held at the Artisphere, helped raise funds that would pull people off of the streets and transition them into stable, sustainable housing.
On Thursday, hundreds of people from across Arlington came to the Artisphere with a determination to make a difference in their community. They were volunteers, sponsors, and supporters of one of Arlington's most successful community programs, A-SPAN. Thursday marked the Fifth Annual Light Up Rosslyn, A-SPAN's Help-the-Homeless Holiday Gala.
The Director of Development at A-SPAN, Jan-Michael Sacharko, has prepared for this event for over a year. In October 2009, Sacharko learned of the development of the Artisphere in Arlington and started investigating the possibilities of using the new venue to promote A-SPAN.
Because of very supportive sponsors and community leaders, the event was able to raise funds that will provide for the operating budget necessary to keep A-SPAN campuses up and running. Meg Tuccillo, Asst. Superintendent for Administrative Services for Arlington County Public Schools, currently chairs the Board of Directors for A-SPAN. Tuccillo said, "The money raised tonight is directed in many ways. It provides funds for winter shelter, provides services, provides proper housing, and it will redirect people from homelessness."
The mission at A-SPAN is very clear. As Sacharko put it, "Keep people healthy and safe in our shelters." They are successfully providing for the current needs of the homeless in Arlington, but their mission does not stop their. They have made it their state mission to span the gap between keeping people alive on the streets and giving them honest, sustainable homes. It is not an easy mission to achieve, and it is a mission that they need the entire Arlington community to get behind.
Throughout the year, A-SPAN seeks out volunteers and donors to make it possible to pull people from the streets, provide services such as basic medical care, and then place them in suitable housing. They are incredibly careful not to just place people in a new box by giving them an empty apartment. A-SPAN has intentionally partnered with local businesses to provide adequate furniture and bedding. These needs can only be met by gracious donors like the Shooshan Company. The Shooshan Company not only became this year's Title Sponsor of Light Up Rosslyn, but they will be sending employees to volunteer at several A-SPAN centers on Monday. It is this type of dedication that is helping A-SPAN get one step closer to their mission.
Kip Laramie, the owner of Cafe Santa Fe, said, "I've been working with A-SPAN for years. The last three years have been the best." He has worked tirelessly to help eliminate homelessness in Arlington and in the Washington, DC Area. He is very supportive of A-SPAN's increased efforts here in Arlington. As Sacharko said, "The need is higher. We need to meet that."
Individuals who are interested in volunteering or donating to this great cause can contact Sacharko directly at email@example.com. You can learn more information about their organization by visiting www.a-span.org.