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Gala Raises $695,000
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Gala Raises $695,000

Oakton-based Northern Virginia Family Service holds 2019 Road to Independence Gala.

NVFS board member and gala emcee, Casey Veatch, Veatch Commercial Real Estate, and NVFS board member, Jenn Aument, Transurban, NVFS president and CEO, Stephanie Berkowitz.

NVFS board member and gala emcee, Casey Veatch, Veatch Commercial Real Estate, and NVFS board member, Jenn Aument, Transurban, NVFS president and CEO, Stephanie Berkowitz. Photo by Bruce Boyajian

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RedHouse Jazz, high school band from Yorktown and Madison high schools.

More than 600 people – including Northern Virginia government officials and business leaders – attended Northern Virginia Family Service Road to Independence Gala May 10 at the Hilton McLean in Tysons Corner. The annual fundraising dinner and auction raised $695,000 in support of NVFS signature programs that provide housing, food, job training, education and mental health counseling to Northern Virginia families who are on the road to independence.

Guests included Virginia State Senators George Barker and David Marsden; Delegates John Bell, Karrie K. Delaney, Mark L. Keam and Vivian Watts; Alexandria City Councilwoman Amy B. Jackson; Fairfax County Supervisors John Foust, Pat Herrity, Jeff McKay and Linda Q. Smyth; former Virginia Secretary of Health & Human Services Bill Hazel; and former Fairfax Deputy County Executive Pat Harrison.

NVFS President and CEO Stephanie Berkowitz shared highlights of the organization’s recent work including how NVFS:

  • Selected as one of only 24 nonprofits across the country – and the only one in Northern Virginia – to receive a grant from the Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos Day One Families Fund. The grant is an investment in NVFS innovative, high-impact work at its family shelter in Manassas and will accelerate the organization’s ability to develop solutions to ending family homelessness in Northern Virginia.

  • Led the Northern Virginia effort to serve federal and ancillary workers impacted by the prolonged government shutdown.

  • Is expanding its mental health services to youth and their families, in partnership with Loudoun County Public Schools.

  • Is building its nationally recognized workforce development model and innovating new ways to increase its impact, remain future-workforce focused, and bring its expertise into the labor market.

  • Is helping support the critical connection between healthcare and good nutrition by expanding its partnership with a local health clinic to provide healthcare and wellness visits at NVFS’ Hunger Resource Center.

  • Will soon launch a fruit and vegetable prescription program to provide healthy nourishment to neighbors who are struggling with chronic medical issues.

The event was dedicated to the memory of the late John Toups, President and CEO of PRC, Inc. and a longtime champion of Northern Virginia Family Service.