Annual Good Friends Christmas luncheon raises $38,000

Dec. 06, 2012 @ 12:14 AM

More than 400 people opened their hearts and their checkbooks at Wednesday’s Good Friends of High Point luncheon.
The 16th annual fundraising luncheon raised about $38,000 in an hour, according to Katherine Covington, founder of Good Friends of High Point, a nonprofit organization created to provide financial assistance to needy individuals and families in the greater High Point community.
“Our goal is to keep these people from falling through the cracks as they work toward self-sufficiency,” said luncheon co-chairwoman Jenny Ragsdale. “...Over the last 15 years, Good Friends has raised more than half a million dollars. Wow, what a big number, and what a difference that money has made.”
Proceeds from this year’s luncheon will be designated to support the Community Clinic of High Point and the Community Resource Network, both of which have the flexibility to assist people with unique needs that might not be met by traditional funding sources.
At the luncheon, held at the High Point Country Club, attendees heard stories of two individuals assisted by Good Friends during the past year, and another who was assisted by the Community Clinic:
• A couple who needed rent money when the premature birth of their twin boys prevented them from being able to work full-time jobs.
• A man who needed help paying his electric bill when the poor economy caused a reduction in the number of hours he could work, and then his wife lost her job because of knee problems.
• A Cuban refugee – and former political prisoner – whose disabling back pain prevented him from doing his job as an auto mechanic.
A Good Friends volunteer, who shared the story of the Cuban refugee, said the man was grateful to be living in High Point now, where “he found not only open doors, but open hearts and helping hands.”
Covington said this year’s Good Friends luncheon takes on added importance, because of continuing unemployment that has taken its toll on High Point.
“Did you know that on any given day in High Point, we have over 1,000 people who are homeless?” Covington said. “Our poverty rate is 4 percent higher than the state average. We rank fourth in the nation for food hardship. My heart goes out to our friends at the Community Clinic and the Community Resource Network, because they will surely have to turn many, many deserving people away, because there’s simply not enough money.”
Following the presentation, a team of four Santas canvassed the room, collecting the donations. | 888-3579

Want to help?

Good Friends of High Point raised about $38,000 at its 16th annual luncheon Wednesday, but donations are still being accepted.
Donations may be sent to Good Friends of High Point, P.O. Box 5671, High Point, N.C. 27262.