Ashley Salemi Tarvis, Director of Lucy's Hearth

Hundreds of community activists and philanthropists gathered at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport Wednesday night for the annual Fall for Lucy’s Hearth event, benefitting Lucy’s Hearth in Middletown. The event raised over $93,000 for children and families experiencing homelessness in Rhode Island.

“We are just so overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we saw last night, especially being back in person for the first time after two years of having to connect virtually due to the pandemic,” said Ashley Salemi Tarvis, Director of Lucy’s Hearth. “I hope even more organizations will join us to shine a light on the need for more affordable housing in Rhode Island.” 

The event, hosted by Salve Regina University’s Aida Neary, honored Newport Restaurant Group as their Housing Hero, noting their incredible donations of meals and support to Lucy’s Hearth guests during the pandemic, even as they faced their own pandemic-related challenges. 

Additionally, the event honored Will Dewey as Volunteer of the Year, for his long-time service and dedication to Lucy’s Hearth’s mission. Dewey has shown his support in a variety of ways, including making and selling his homemade pickles and offering tours of Newport Inns, with all proceeds going directly to support Lucy’s Hearth guests.

The guests heard a personal story from a Lucy’s Hearth alum named Brandi, who recounted the difficult times she endured while she and her daughter experienced homelessness. She thanked Lucy’s Hearth for offering her safety and support while she was healing and growing in her independence.

This year’s event featured a silent auction with generously donated prizes, including a round of golf at Newport Country Club, a helicopter trip over Newport, as well as luxurious trips across the globe to places like Greece and Africa. Artist Tim Perry was also featured, providing unique pumpkin carvings that filled the event space.

Donations are still being accepted online here to assist Lucy’s Hearth guests on their journey from homeless to home.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...