APRIL 27, 2013 –Music from the Second Line brass band, and The Loomers, and the delicious aroma of Redbones BBQ greeted guests at the 5th Annual Under the Roof dinner, which honors outstanding community partners, volunteers and staff and recognizes the Somerville Homeless Coalition’s 28 years of work preventing homelessness and aiding those who are homeless.
This year’s Honorees, Redbones and its owners Robert Gregory and Caryn Whitney, are the epitome of engaged business owners. For the last eleven years, Redbones has hosted an annual Pig Pickin’ event – complete with a whole pig, corn bread and slaw, and donated all proceeds to the Somerville Homeless Coalition. Over eleven years, Redbones has raised over $65,000 for the organization.
“We talk a lot about what it means to be a community partner, and you don’t need to look any further than Redbones to find an outstanding business with a real sense of community responsibility,” remarked Mark Alston-Follansbee, SHC’s Executive Director. Besides supporting the Somerville Homeless Coalition, Redbones generously donates food to many of the local nonprofits, and has been active in supporting several biking initiatives, to name just a few of the countless ways in which they have been engaged in the Somerville community.
Community engagement is something that volunteers at Community Cooks also know well. Started 25 years ago, Community Cooks organizes a network of volunteers to prepare meals for those in need. Guests at the Somerville Homeless Coalition’s adult shelter were the first recipients of one of these meals. In 2011 alone, Community Cooks delivered 300 meals that served 13,800 people and donated 9,300 volunteer hours and $45,600 worth of groceries.
Long-time staff member Jimmy Boudreau was also recognized for his dedicated service at SHC’s family and adult shelters, with the Teresa Elliott Award. His compassion and support for those who come through the shelter’s doors exemplifies the Somerville Homeless Coalition’s core values: to treat each and every person with dignity and respect.
A fabulous Silent Auction, organized by Maren Chiu, Thalia Tringo and Jeanne Wolf, in addition to the lead sponsorship support of Cambridge Savings Bank, Brookline Bank, East Cambridge Savings Bank, Eastern Bank, Cambridge Portuguese Credit Union, and many others, helped the organization raise over $95,000 that evening. Harpoon Brewery and Dave’s Fresh Pasta provided beverages, Nellie’s Wildflowers donated table arrangements, and the Armory served as a perfect location for dining, dancing and having a good time.
By honoring these organizations and individuals, everyone was reminded of the difference each of us can make. For more information about the Somerville Homeless Coalition, please visit their website at www.somervillehomelesscoalition.org or call 617-623-6111.