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First Light News

Exciting news about the First Light Gala!


Contact: Deborah Everson, Assistant Director
First Light
2230 Fourth Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Phone: 205-323-4277
Fax: 205-323-8362

First Light to Honor Those Who Help Birmingham’s Homeless Women and Children

You could “bring light to the day” of homeless women right here in our area by attending First Light’s 13th Annual Gala on April 30 at the Doubletree Hotel. First Light volunteers Nancy Skinner and Betty Drennen will be recognized as the Honorees of the Year and Starnes Davis Florie LLP will be honored as the Volunteer of the Year for their continued support and dedication to helping homeless women who are guests of First Light. Andrea Lindenberg, evening anchor for Alabama’s 13, will be the emcee. Doors open at 6:30 pm with silent auction. Dinner and live auction begin at 8:00 pm.

Nancy Skinner and Betty Drennen have been dinner volunteers, overnight volunteers and have generated support for First Light for 20 years. The devotion and passion of these two good friends has spread throughout their families, social networks and their church community at Independent Presbyterian Church. Whether spending the night in the shelter, serving on the Board of Directors, or helping to conduct the annual Gala, Nancy and Betty exemplify the best to be found in volunteerism in our community. Because they have done so much for the agency as a team, First Light honors them together at this year’s Gala. Upon hearing the news, Mrs. Skinner said “Betty and I both still can’t believe the honor and do not think that we deserve it, but we really appreciate our sweet friends thinking of us.” The night promises to be a true celebration of friendship, volunteerism and the mission of the agency they so love.

Starnes Davis Florie LLP has served dinner twice a month at First Light since 2001. Dawn Trull is the liaison who has coordinated and scheduled the attorneys and staff for their dinner dates at First Light since that time. Dawn is “so excited” about the honor to the firm and proud of their history as long time volunteers at First Light’s emergency shelter.

About First Light: A Center for Homeless Women and Women and Children:
Located in downtown Birmingham, First Light is an emergency shelter for homeless women and children. The professional staff of social workers is dedicated to “bringing light to the day” of these women by providing group therapy, life skills training, art therapy, referrals to work training programs and mental and medical health assistance. First Light serves approximately 1,000 women and children each year and has broadened services to include three different permanent supportive housing programs for their guests. The women get help in acquiring glasses, social security cards and other IDs, clothing, transportation assistance, diagnoses and prescriptions, birth certificates and referrals into First Light or other agency’s housing programs. In January 2011, of the 108 guests served, 13 were chronically homeless, 48 had severe mental illnesses and 38 suffered chronic substance abuse. On any given night there are 60-70 guests being served in the shelter and an additional 39 women plus children in their permanent supportive housing programs.

The evening, which includes a seated dinner and both a silent and live auction, promises to be a distinctive experience – and a wonderful opportunity to acquire fine art, great wine and to honor those who work tirelessly to help the women in our area. Tickets are $150 per individual, and sponsor tables may be purchased. To order tickets, contact Shannon Horsley at or call 323-4277. To order online, go to