Photo courtesy of Bramblett Group
With sold-out tables and a unique style of entertainment, this year’s Area Relief Ministries Salt & Light Banquet raised more than $120,000 to support the nonprofit’s mission to help the homeless reestablish themselves through education, employment and housing.
The banquet was held on the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., which inspired the evening’s patriotic theme “Salute to the Big Apple” with performances from the Jackson Symphony accompanied by Kellye Cash – Miss America 1987 – and gospel artist Vonda Peete.
During the evening, ARM named the late Harbert Alexander as the recipient of the Mary Tyler Salt & Light Award. Alexander served as ARM’s major gifts fundraising chair for three years. “Much of this year’s fundraising success can be attributed to Mr. Alexander and ARM leadership,” said Dr. Martha Robinson, ARM Board of Directors President.
Alexander served the community as a historian and as the CEO The Bank of Jackson. Alexander passed away in April 2022. Tyler founded Area Relief Ministries in 1977 and was the director for nearly 30 years. She died in 2020, shortly after the service award was named in her honor.
Funds raised support the ministry of Area Relief Ministries-Room in the Inn. ARM coordinates Room in the Inn with area churches and businesses to provide services for the homeless to provide housing and meals each night in Jackson, Tennessee. ARM seeks to help the homeless make life changes with job training, job placement and permanent housing, as well as provide emergency services for low-income members of the community. This year marks ARM’s 45th year of serving the community.
“We are so appreciative of the community, event sponsors, volunteers and everyone who played a role in making the evening such a success,” said Mike Roby, ARM Executive Director. “Our mission is to be in a position where we can help those who need support to thrive and live a more positive life.”
One of ARM’s success stories belongs to Loralee Landrum, an artist, who was once homeless, but now is employed and lives in her own home with her children.
“Her story is just one of the reasons we do what we do at ARM,” Roby said. “And with the continued support of our community, we’ll continue to have an impact.”
Individuals, churches and or businesses interested in supporting ARM-Room in the Inn may contact 731-423-9257 or Mike Roby at 731-234-5642.