Queens Community House annual gala raises $400,000 for relief and recovery work

QCH Gala 2021 Live Ask
Participants at the Queens Community House Annual Gala at the Museum of the Moving Image raise their pledge cards to make donations. (Photo courtesy of QCH)

Nearly 150 supporters of the Queens Community House gathered at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria on Oct. 21 to raise more than $400,000 for one of the borough’s largest social services organizations.

The theme of this year’s Annual Gala was “Recovering Together, Rebuilding Together, Better Together,” highlighting how QCH pivoted during the last 18 months to help communities that were hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The central Queens communities we serve were at the epicenter when COVID-19 first struck, so we responded to the families in greatest need by expanding our homebound meal service by half and two food pantries tenfold,” QCH Executive Director Ben Thomases said. “And as our programs reopen, we are working to continue our support for the more than 25,000 children, youth, adults and older adults who rely on our services every year.”

The event was the organization’s first in-person gala since 2019 and it honored the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis for its pro bono contribution to the purchase and renovation of QCH’s Forest Hills Community Center. The second honoree was Blanca Izaguirre, who served on the QCH board for 27 years.”

The gala raised more than $400,000, and proceeds will be used toward furthering QCH’s relief and recovery work in 14 Queens neighborhoods.

“It’s heartening to see this level of support,” said Jennifer Wright of Christie’s, who led the paddle raiser fundraising session. “The funds raised make the incredible services offered by this organization possible.”

Through its broad network of programs operating out of 34 sites in 14 neighborhoods, Queens Community House offers residents of the borough a needed support system at every stage of life, helping them to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to change their lives for the better and become active participants in the larger community.