Candles for Hope is a non-profit organization founded by Susan Hamblen and the team at EXIT Realty Achieve in Smithtown, NY to provide birthday parties for local displaced children, and this spring, the organization held its second annual fundraiser at the Stonebridge Country Club.  The venue was decorated in a superhero theme to celebrate the supporters of Candles for Hope – true heroes in the eyes of the children they serve.

Speakers at the gala event included Candles for Hope’s President, Susan Hamblen, Vice President, Jeff Mistretta, and Secretary, Elta Bergold. Frank Shankwitz, a founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, traveled from Arizona to speak and offer support as the organization’s first advisory board member. Additionally, Tami Bonnell, CEO of EXIT Realty Corp. International was on hand.

A portion of every transaction fee received by EXIT Realty Corp. International is applied to its charitable fund.  Through the Spirit of EXIT Dollar-for-Dollar Matching Program, EXIT offices and associates can raise money for local, approved, registered charities and apply to EXIT’s head office to have those funds matched from the company’s pledged pool of funds.  An application was made and the fundraising efforts benefiting Candles for Hope reached $31,028.53 which exceeded the match amount requested of $25,000, resulting in a total donation to the charity of $56,028.53.

“The Candles for Hope 2nd Annual Fundraiser was a tremendous success,” said Hamblen.  “Because of the people who support the charity, we can make a difference in the lives of locally displaced children by turning their birthday into something special.”

Read more about the inspiration behind the founding of Candles for Hope here.



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