Fundraiser forwards the Source’s mission to help needy

Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger and Tony Zorbaugh. PHOTO BY MARY SCHENKEL

As they congregated around a firepit at Magnolia Manor, guests at the 19th annual Night of Hope to benefit the Source enjoyed a mouth-watering buffet of hors d’oeuvres prepared by its own Dignity Catering division. The Source, a Christian-based nonprofit, assists the homeless and less fortunate members of our community through its numerous programs and services.

Prior to an inspirational talk by guest speaker Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, event emcee Marty Paris spoke about the Source, which began in 1995 as a homeless ministry providing meals and Bible study, and has since become a vital community resource center.

He noted that the chilly weather that evening would help people to “fully appreciate what the Source has done during the past several years to make sure that everyone has a safe, secure place to sleep every night and, ultimately, a permanent roof over their heads.

“But it’s really the past five years that tells the story of what the Source has become,” said Paris, crediting the organization’s transformation to its executive director, Anthony Zorbaugh.

Today, Paris said, the Source has become known across the United States as “a forward-thinking pioneer in the constant fight to solve the problems of helping the needy, at-risk and homeless populations to achieve a life of dignity.”

In addition to providing daily comprehensive services, to meet physical, civil, social and spiritual needs, the Source offers life skills training through its Community Works and Dignity Programs.

Among them are Dining with Dignity, Dignity Catering, Dignity Foods, Dignity Bus, Dignity Village, Dignity Smiles, Dignity Income Opportunity, and Dignity Wellness. Ultimately, the goal is to assist individuals to learn a trade, make a decent wage, reunite with their families and live as members of the community once more.

“Tonight is our Night of Hope and our Night of Dreams. It is our night to bring hope to those who have none and it is a night to dream,” said Zorbaugh.

He said the Dignity programs that today are a reality were once also dreams, and added that their current dream is to double the size of their facility to 10,000 square feet.

“We have some of the most amazing members who come through our doors that have goals and aspirations just like all of us. Our goal is to give them hope and the ability to do that,” said Zorbaugh.

Ruettiger spoke about overcoming multiple challenges in his life, before achieving his seemingly impossible dream of playing football for the University of Notre Dame, a feat that was featured in the 1993 film “Rudy.” Throughout his talk, which was laced with humor and recollections, Ruettiger stressed that to achieve their dreams, people need, like he did, to persevere against all odds.

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Photos by Mary Schenkel

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