This week, staff writer Laura Rysz talks with Chip Abrahamsen about Friends of the Poor’s upcoming ball to benefit its programs and establish an endowment fund.
Residence: Clarks Summit
Educational and professional background: Graduate of Boston College and Dickinson School of Law and a partner at ACA Law for 16 years
Title: Chairman, Friends of the Poor’s board of directors
A: 2021 marks the 35th anniversary of the founding of Friends of the Poor by Sister Adrian Barrett, I.H.M., and more than 10 years of service by Sister Ann Walsh, I.H.M. To honor the awe-inspiring efforts and lifework of these remarkable women, Friends of the Poor is holding its second-ever community-wide fundraising event. We invite you to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Friends of the Poor and honor the 10 years of tireless service of Sister Ann Walsh by staying home and NOT attending the gala Stay at Home Ball on April 8. Ticket purchasers do not have to dress up and do not have to go out. You can make your contribution and simply stay at home.
Q: Who is the fundraiser open to?
A: The fundraiser is open to anyone and everyone. We encourage families to take April 8 as a night off to relax together while knowing that their donation contributed to the sustainability of Friends of the Poor, an agency that has helped so many of their friends, neighbors and maybe even themselves over the last three-and-a-half decades.Q: What are some of the raffle prizes?
A: For each $100 contributed, you receive one chance in a drawing for the following prizes: the grand prize is four tickets to an October 2021 University of Notre Dame Football game in South Bend, Indiana, with a two-room, two-night stay at the Waterford Escape Lodge. We also have two tickets to a 2021 season Philadelphia Eagles home game and an LG 65-inch Class UN7000 Series LED 4K UHD Smart webOS television.
Q: What is your fundraising goal?
A: We are hoping to raise $350,000 in honor of the 35th anniversary.
Q: How will proceeds be used?
A: The funds raised by this event will establish the Sister Ann Walsh, I.H.M., Endowment Fund for Friends of the Poor, increasing our capacity to serve those in need and ensuring the works and dreams of Sisters Ann and Adrian will continue so long as the need exists.
Q: Why is community support so important to your cause?
A: Community has always been essential to Friends of the Poor and me personally. This has become so much more important in the last year. Our community has shown a great desire to help those who have been deeply affected by COVID-19, and we at Friends of the Poor strive to continue to rely on our community and donors to help those that continue to suffer the most.
Laura Rysz is the features copy editor and calendar editor at The Times-Tribune and runs the Talk of the Times column, which focuses on local fundraisers and other events. She also writes Chef’s Table that profiles restaurants around the region. Additionally, Laura curates events online on AccessNEPA.com. Laura is involved in the special Mother’s Day edition and curates occasional features Marry Memories and Times Travelers. She is a graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School, New Jersey, and earned an English professional writing degree with a minor in mass communications from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. She also earned a certificate in Social Media Marketing from Rutgers Business School. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5228.