About 700 community and business leaders donated more than $1.125 million to provide free after-school programs to children as part of the 2023 An Evening of Hope gala hosted Oct. 5 by National CORE, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit developers of affordable housing.

All funds will benefit the Hope through Housing Foundation’s Building Bright Futures initiative, which unlocks opportunities for thousands of children at National CORE’s affordable housing communities across California and Texas. Services include homework help, physical fitness, character growth, scholarships, exposure to higher education and career possibilities, and the guidance of inspiring role models.

The gala, held under the stars at National CORE’s new headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga, brought together a Who’s Who of California community and business leaders, government officials and celebrities.

“It’s humbling to witness the strength and unity of our community as we gather together on this remarkable evening,” said Jeff Burum, chairman and founder of National CORE. “Our annual gala serves as a powerful testament to our shared dedication to uplifting the lives of children, families and seniors in need. It reminds us all that, as a collective force, we have the boundless potential to transform communities.”

The gala launched a new campaign to support the Building Bright Futures initiative called Champion a Child, which allows supporters to ensure children receive the support they need to break free of the generational cycle of poverty. The campaign will continue to run through the coming year.

Special recognition was given to the groups and people who transform National CORE and Hope through Housing’s mission into reality: Women of Hope – Volunteer Group of the Year, Riverside County – Community Partner of the Year, G. Allan Kingston – Daniel R. Fauske Founders’ Award and Arlene Ortiz – I Am Hope Award. (Learn more about these groups on our YouTube channel.)

“Without the help of our extraordinary sponsors and volunteers, Hope through Housing would be unable to provide these critical, life-changing services,” Hope through Housing President Gregory Bradbard said. “We are opening 10 new properties in the coming year and are continuing to expand services at our existing locations as we work to meet the needs of the next generation of world-changers.”

For 25 years, Hope through Housing has been empowering families in 90-plus National CORE communities to pursue their dreams by delivering an array of programs and services that place them on a path to new opportunities.

“As National CORE grows, the need for resident services becomes more apparent,” National CORE President Michael Ruane said. “Despite the severe economic and social challenges our residents have faced, they work tirelessly to make a better future for their children. Stable housing and supportive social programs place our residents on the right path to a more fulfilling life.”

The gala was held under the stars at the organization’s new headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga and featured a dance performance by children at a Hope through Housing after-school program, dancers from the Valverde School of Performing Arts in Rancho Cucamonga and music from Citrus College’s Night Shift band.

Robert Diaz, National CORE’s executive vice president, said National CORE’s new office shows how far the nonprofit housing developer has come in 30 years.

“This new home will allow us to continue to innovate as we pursue our mission to provide affordable housing and services designed to break the generational cycle of poverty for the next 30 years and beyond,” Diaz said.

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