Gala Dinner and Silent Auction Raises Thousands for Lissy’s Place

The welcoming front door of Lissy’s Place Gala Dinner and Big Silent Auction on May 15, 2009 raised thousands of dollars for Lissy’s Place, a haven for homeless women on Milwaukee’s West Side.

About 250 supporters of Lissy’s Place, a haven for homeless women on Milwaukee’s West Side, attended a fundraising Gala Dinner and Silent Auction on the evening of Friday, May 15, 2009 at the Midwest Airlines Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Thousands of dollars were raised for Lissy’s Place, which is operated by My Home, Your Home Inc. Lissy’s Place helps homeless women to develop economic self-sufficiency and personal independence. More than 400 women have been assisted since Lissy’s Place opened on Sept. 4, 2001.

The May 15 event honored the following individuals:

  • Father John “Jack” Kern, pastor of St. Catherine Church; Toni Wagner, president of the St. Catherine Parish Council; parish trustees Trudy Ranallo and Mike Wessa; and Parish Council members Juan Luglio and Mike McElwee.They were presented with a plaque that reads:My Home, Your Home Inc. and the residents and staff of Lissy’s Place thank Father John Kern, the St. Catherine Parish Council, the Parish Trustees and all the parish members for their unflagging support of this program. Since the founding of Lissy’s Place eight years ago,, more than 400 homeless women have developed economic self-sufficiency and personal independence. The unending kindness of the leaders and members of St. Catherine Parish has been a profound blessing to many.
  • Tim Scheid, former chairman of the Board of Directors of My Home, Your Home Inc., and his wife, Sherry Scheid.Their plaque reads: My Home, Your Home Inc. thanks Tim and Sherry Scheid for giving their time and talents for many years to ensure that our agency provides the best possible service to its thousands of clients. The volunteer service of Tim Scheid as a Board member and Board Chair—with the tremendous encouragement of Sherry Scheid—made our organization what it is today—a place that is “bringing families hope, one individual at a time.” Our staff and clients are deeply grateful for the caring and dedication shown by Tim and Sherry Scheid.
  • The late Jane Youngblood writes a boy’s name on a quilt she made for him.

    Larry Youngblood and his late wife Jane Youngblood, who donated many quilts to the children served by My Home, Your Home’s programs. Mr. Youngblood attended with other members of his family: James, Kim and Scott.Eileen Beard, a member of the My Home, Your Home staff, wrote this reminiscence, which was read to the audience: Jane and Larry would gather cloth through donations—and from their own personal funds—to make quilts. Jane and Larry offered these handmade quilts to the children in Treatment Foster Care. Each quilt had a spot for the child’s name to be written in permanent ink. Jane came one night to My Home, Your Home to meet with some of the foster children. She put each child’s name on his or her quilt as she gave them out. Even the teenagers—who tried to act like they didn’t want one—slowly moved toward her to ask for one, too. There came a calm over the room as the children held their quilts close. Jane just sat there and smiled. On another occasion, Jane and Larry made some homemade ice cream with the children. They had each child crank the stiff handle—with the help of Mr. Youngblood—so they could say they made the ice cream themselves.

In addition, the Gala Dinner recognized people who have donated their time or helped in other ways to assist Lissy’s Place and the agency as a whole. They are Lee Beitzel, Glenda Haynes, Marge Kelley, Sue Maisa, Sparkle Negron, Belinda Sims, Elizabeth Townsel, Tim Voigtman and Karin Holmberg Werner.

The late Irma Walker, founder of My Home, Your Home Inc.

In her opening remarks, Chief Executive Officer Constance Palmer-Jones recognized those who had worked on the event and thanked all of the event sponsors. Attendees watched a video memorial to Irma Walker, founder of My Home, Your Home Inc., who died in 2008. The dinner guests also enjoyed an inspiring documentary about Lissy’s Place. The videos were produced by Gary Alvarado of AVA Media Services.

At another point in the program, Colder’s—the furniture, appliance, and electronics retailer—generously donated a washer and dryer to Lissy’s Place by means of a live auction.

The evening’s co-emcees were Cassandra McShepard of WMCS (1290 AM) and Nzinga Thompson, Miss Black Wisconsin 2009. Musical entertainment during the Big Silent Auction was provided by The Fabulous Feno.

Volunteer co-chairs of the Gala Dinner and Big Silent Auction were Brian De Lorenzo, Assistant Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer, Waterstone Bank, and Katherine (Kate) Jochman De Lorenzo, an attorney with D’Angelo & Jones, LLP, a law firm in Waukesha.

In planning the event, the De Lorenzos were assisted by the volunteer members of the Fund Development Advisory Committee of My Home, Your Home: Ronald Bittner, Samantha Catena, Scott Coleman, Bernell Hooker, Regina Johnson, Jeffrey Robb, Kerry Schnier, Crystal Szabo and Nzinga Thompson.

My Home, Your Home staff who worked on the Gala Dinner were Christina Fox, Lagail Hurt, Shaunta Kidd, Constance Palmer-Jones, Brian Resch and Michael Zahn.

Major sponsors of the event included:

GOLD SPONSORS—Delta Dental, Metavante Corporation, Michael Schulte, Milwaukee Urban League Safe Alternatives for Youth/UWM, Waterstone Bank SSB and We Energies.

SILVER SPONSORS—Tim Frautschi/Foley & Lardner, Greater Milwaukee Committee, Hupy & Abraham, Lemberg Electric, Bishop and Lady C.H. McClelland/Word of Hope Ministries, Metro Home Health Services, Constance Palmer-Jones, Pieper Electric, Jeffrey Robb, Jake and Gay Ruby, John & Mary Scheibel, Tim & Sherry Scheid, Kerry and Doug Schnier, US Bank, and Deborah and Dean Zemel.

Other major sponsors included the volunteer members of the My Home, Your Home Board of Directors: Jeffrey Robb, Chair; Katie Peschel, Vice Chair; Michelle Buckingham, Secretary; Ed Konkol, Treasurer; Atty. Tim Frautschi; Bill Herd; Bernell Hooker; Eric Von and Deborah Zemel.

Event volunteers were provided by Chase Bank and the Milwaukee Urban League Young Professionals.

The program booklet was designed by Tia Kinens of Waterstone Bank SSB.

Sharon Jochman donated the table centerpieces.