Pomona, Calif- More than 500 friends, supporters and sponsors attending the Hope through Housing Foundation’s annual gala helped to raise over $400,000 to support the life-transforming human services Hope provides.

“An Evening of Hope: Rolling out the Red Carpet,” held November 5 at the Sheraton Fairplex in Pomona, showcased the work of Hope through Housing (“Hope”) and National Community Renaissance (National CORE), as well as the residents – and communities – they serve.

Highlights included musical performances by the winners of the summer-long “CORE Has Talent” competition, the awarding of Housing Advocate of the Year to California State Treasurer John Chiang and a special donor pledge to pay the remainder of National CORE resident Itzel Farias’ college education.

Itzel, who lives in the National CORE San Antonio Vista community in Montclair, Calif., was featured in a video during the gala; highlighting the impact National CORE and Hope through Housing have had on her life. Hope’s After School and Beyond program dared Itzel to dream, and today, at age 19, she is in her second year at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The Jeff and Kellie Burum Family and the Crebs Family pledged to pay the remainder of her education, estimated at $20,000. Jeff Burum, founder of National CORE and Hope through Housing, one of the nation’s largest and most acclaimed nonprofit community builders, said “Along with my friend Ray Crebs and his family, we are honored to assist Itzel pursue her educational goals and know she has a bright future”.

“On so many levels, this was an amazing night. To have the support we do is a testament to the dedication of our founders, our board and our remarkable team,” said Steve PonTell, President and Chief Executive Officer of National CORE. PonTell noted that 65 sponsors helped support the gala.

Treasurer Chiang was honored for his efforts to promote public-private partnerships and regulatory reforms to fix what he describes as “one of the greatest threats to our future prosperity.” More than a third of working renters in California now pay more than 50 percent of their income toward housing, which leads to overcrowded conditions, substandard housing and jobs leaving the state because they can’t pay their workers enough.

“Treasurer Chiang’s commitment to housing is reframing the discussion and making it the priority it needs to be,” said PonTell. “We are honored to present him with our 2015 Housing Advocate of the Year award.”

Meanwhile, the Fairplex ballroom rocked with South American instrumentals and ‘60s rhythm and blues as the winners of the “CORE Has Talent” competition took stage.

The Devia Brothers, a trio of Colombian guitarists who live at the Villaggio on Route 66 in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., brought the crowd to its feet with a medley that included the Peruvian classic “El Condor Pasa.”

Later, Garland Green, who lives at the Hawthorne Terrace, a family community in Hawthorne, Calif., earned his own standing ovation with a hit from his days as a chart-topping R&B star, “Jealous Kind of Fella.”

Each act received $1,500 for finishing first in the competition.

“These remarkable performers exemplify the greatness that can occur when someone is given the opportunity to succeed,” said Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, President of Hope through Housing. “This is what Hope is all about – transforming live and communities by providing the resources and services that promote prosperity, quality of life and physical well-being.”

About Hope through Housing and National CORE
The Hope through Housing Foundation and National Community Renaissance, both based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., manage and serve affordable, senior and special-needs housing communities in California, Arkansas, Texas and Florida. For more information on both organizations, please visit www.nationalcore.org.

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