The Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission held its third annual fundraising banquet Sept. 29 at Antonio's Banquet and Conference Center.
Approximately 500 people attended the event, including Town of Niagara Supervisor Lee S. Wallace, Deputy Supervisor Charles Teixeira, Police Chief James Suitor and councilmen Marc Carpenter, Samuel Gatto and Richard Sirianni.
City of Niagara Falls officials, including Mayor Paul Dyster, were also in attendance.
Over 30 churches were represented at the banquet by pastors and laypeople of several denominations and backgrounds.
Working toward one purpose, the group gathered to celebrate the labor of the mission, listen to stories of changed lives and commit to taking the next steps of faith in raising funds necessary to enhance the lives of the needy.
Neil Boron of WDCX 99.50-FM was the master of ceremonies for the event. Jesse Pohle from The Chapel at CrossPoint, as well as The Redeemed Quartet from Forestview Church of God, ministered to those in attendance in song.
Dyster spoke about the accomplishments of the Niagara Gospel Rescue mission. Interim Executive Director Tom McLaughlin shared the future goals and vision for the ongoing work of the mission.
The keynote speaker for the evening was the Capital City Rescue Mission Executive Director Perry Jones, who has been in rescue ministry for over 30 years. He said was impressed by the mission's effectiveness in Niagara Falls, and stated, hope (which was the theme of the banquet) is the healing theme of the needy.
Perry shared his extensive experience with the people at the Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany, who experience many of the same struggles as the people in Niagara Falls. He spoke about how lives can be transformed from living on the streets to being leaders in the mission and community.
The money raised at the fundraiser will help fund the construction of a commercial kitchen at 1317 Portage Road in Niagara Falls, the former YMCA. The cost of this kitchen is estimated at $150,000.
The Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission serves three meals a day, each day of the year. It also prepares and delivers thousands of meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas community outreach initiatives.
Donation checks toward the kitchen construction can be made out to the Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission, with "Banquet 2016" written on the memo line. Checks can be mailed to PO Box 2657 Niagara Falls, NY 14302.
For more information, visit www.niagaramissions.org.