BOONE — Amidst a resurging COVID-19 pandemic, the Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina in Boone is planning for on-the-fly adjustments to their annual Hope Luncheon, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 20.
The theme of the 2021 edition is “Hope Knows My Name,” which Executive Director Tina B. Krause said relates to a central part of what makes the Hospitality House a special place for those who benefit from it.
“As I was driving home one evening, one of the things that really struck me is that many of the people that we serve — even years later when they come back to see us and let us know what they’re doing now in their lives — they point out the fact that we always call them by name, that we cared enough to know their name, to look them in the eye and really get to know them,” Krause said.
The 2020 event’s theme, “Hope Survives,” spoke to the feeling of challenges many faced during the pandemic, and both themes resonate as it continues, according to Chief Development Director Todd Carter. He noted that when workers from Samaritan’s Purse and AppHealthCare would come to the Hospitality House for screenings or aid, the workers got to know those staying at the Hospitality House, knowing them by name.
“That’s the kind of place that we always want it to be,” Carter said. “It was really magical to see how that was so easily transmittable to other people who were in the building that had never met our clients before. They developed real relationships and care about one another.”
The wine social, silent auction and fundraising event is now in its 16th year. It is the organization’s largest fundraising event of the year, according to Carter, kicking off their fundraising season with an event goal of $65,000.
“It’s critical to what we do and one way or the other it has to go on,” Carter said. “Last year, we pre-taped an event we used on Facebook Live and YouTube Live.”
With new restrictions being put in place left and right, Carter said they are “prepared to pivot” based on what they are able to do when the event comes. He added that precautions have already been put in place, such as decreasing the allowed amount of guests from 300 to 200.
The event is being hosted at the Blue Ridge Mountain Club’s Watson Gap Village from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Carter and Krause said the event is set up for people to enjoy themselves, as a thank you from the Hospitality House to those who support them, while building a sense a community among them and the organization
At the same time, the silent auction aspect of the event has gone online, running Aug. 12-21. Up for auction this year are 36 items valued at $80,000.
For more information about the Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina, visit www.hosphouse.org or call (828) 264-1237.