On Tuesday, November 13, more than 125 attendees gathered at The Atlantic Grill in Rye to support The Chase Home, which works with at-risk youth and families. While an official tally has yet to be released, net proceeds from the 5th Wine & Chocolate Tasting exceed $45,000, monies that will support the agency across several residential and community based programs.
“We are so grateful at the support shown by individuals, corporate sponsors and the larger Seacoast community,” said Executive Director Meme Wheeler. “This year’s total far exceeds anything we raised in prior years.”
Last year, Chase Home netted approximately $30,000 from the same event with 2016’s total at roughly $10,000. The first two years of the event each netted approximately $2,500, respectively.
“The event keeps growing, because I think people are starting to realize more of what we do and how long we have been doing it,” added Wheeler.
Founded in 1877, Chase Home in Portsmouth is one of the oldest nonprofits in New Hampshire, serving more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at Chase Home.
The highlight of the evening for many was the role played by a former resident, who spoke about her struggles in life and how Chase Home continues to support her. Noting there was not “a dry eye in the house,” Board Member Jennifer Desrosiers, principal event organizer and owner of Laney & Lu in Exeter, said it was an honor to hear her story.
“I’m proud of Chase Home for being a beacon of light for her,” she said. “I’m grateful for the overwhelming generosity of our community…Last night was a special moment for Chase Home.”
Fellow Board Member Daniel Thompson, a financial advisor with The Grieb & Chace Group in Portsmouth, agreed and said the young woman’s story opened the eyes of many.
“There are people struggling here in this community, including many kids,” he said. “I want people to know Chase Home is there for them and has been for a very long time. We will continue to meet the needs of kids and families in crisis.”
At the event, chocolate was donated by Enna Chocolate in Epping and La Cascade Du Chocolat in Exeter. The event was captured in photos by Raya on Assignment. Major sponsors for the event included Margaret and David Witham, Kennebunk Savings and Meredith Village Savings Bank with additional support from more than a dozen other organizations.
“Local businesses and individuals from across the Seacoast should be thanked for their generosity,” said Wheeler. “We cannot achieve our mission without these kinds of partnerships.”
Board Member and Portsmouth native Mike LaLime, who works for Response Team 1, said he believes the mission of Chase Home will continue to attract new sponsors and supporters.
“Kids deserve a chance, and we give them that chance at Chase Home,” he said. “Tuesday’s success is proof that the community is starting to recognize what we do…We are very grateful.”
To learn more about Chase Home, or to inquire on joining the Board of Directors, visit www.chasehome.org.