November 20, 2018

 HomeAid Houston, a 501 c 3 charity of the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA), recently held a fundraiser at The Westin/Memorial City called "Family - A Bridge to the Future".  The event was the 10th annual HomeAid's Amazing Ladies' Organization (HALO) luncheon and raised a record $130,000.  Over 460 women and several gentlemen, representing a variety of industries and professions were in attendance.

Two decades ago, Toy Wood, then GHBA CEO, invited six women to join her and Bette Moser, HomeAid's executive director at the time, to a lunch held in the kitchen of one of HomeAid's homeless care agencies.  Her vision was to build a core of accomplished females who would share in HomeAid's mission - 'to build new lives for homeless families and individuals through housing and community outreach'. Since then HALO has become a hallmark event each year, as the number of attendees and industries represented have grown dramatically. 

On November 9, The Westin's Azalea Ballroom was a far different setting than that small kitchen ten years before, but the vision was still the same, and the heart of what defines HALO remains. 

Leading the program were speakers, Cindy Hinson, HomeAid past president and Casey Watts Morgan, executive vice president and CEO of the Greater Houston Builders Association, both referencing the theme Family and sharing a few words on what family meant to them.  The new HomeAid Executive Director Carl Salazar, also spoke about family and how the women in his life have impacted him.

Guest speaker Carole Brady the executive director at Family Promise of Lake Houston (FPLH), gave an overview of her agency's dedication to families in crisis.  She also facilitated an interview with two of FPLH's clients, U.S. Veteran James and his wife Cristal who gave their perspective on how the agency has enhanced their family and helped them grow.

Regina Hearne, a past resident at one of HomeAid's long-standing partners Gracewood, shared her story of Family and how she discovered its role in guiding her to achieve a better life for her and for her children.  Regina, a professional singer and recent graduate of Texas Southern University, sang her rendition of "We are Family", inspiring everyone to stand and sing and dance with her.

 Also a special guest, Jenny Rice Cotton, president of Gracewood closed the event with her story of recovering from the struggles of being a single mother to her present role at Gracewood. 

"HALO is more than just an event," said McCalle Fryar, chair of the HALO Committee and a HomeAid board member.  "It is a state of mind, a journey into your heart, and an opportunity to share stories and love for those less fortunate.  We cannot thank our many sponsors and donors enough for making this 10th year such a huge success."