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The 16th annual Night of Giving, a benefit for Hospitality House, took place virtually again this year on Saturday, Dec. 18. Attendees were invited to stay home, get cozy, and stream the 22-minute event on the Hospitality House website or Facebook page. The video stream included a shelter update, guest testimonial, and musical performances.

Though the event was condensed this year, the enthusiasm of the participants and attendees was widespread. Hundreds tuned in, and phone and online donations were received well into the evening. Donations given on Saturday reached nearly $50,000, all of which will go on to provide food, shelter, clothing, and case management services for men, women, children, seniors, and Veterans experiencing homelessness. 

The transformation of the event was done with careful consideration to stay true to the spirit of Night of Giving. Despite its shortened format, Saturday’s event included musical entertainment, provided an opportunity for the community to hear directly from an individual struggling with homelessness, and allowed viewers to learn what Hospitality House has done in the last year to aid individuals. Additionally, a triple match was in place for donations raised during the event, made possible by anonymous angel donors and business sponsors. 

Artistic Director Maggie McKaig was one of the volunteers who worked to honor the Night of Giving’s rich history. This year’s event paid homage to Hospitality House’s roots, including recognition of Utah Phillips, one of its founders. 

“Night of Giving has always been about the music,” shared McKaig. “Because of the pandemic, we couldn’t be together on stage. Still, we wanted to find a way to sing together to create something uplifting, inspire people to support Hospitality House, and dedicate it to Utah.” 

Night of Giving began 16 years ago, and today the need is more critical than ever. The pandemic coupled with rising housing costs in Nevada County has resulted in an increase in homelessness. In response, Hospitality House’s overnight shelter, Utah’s Place, has maintained its expanded 24/7 operation across multiple locations through 2021 with partners County of Nevada, AMI Housing, FREED, Sierra Roots, Communities Beyond Violence, and Turning Point. All money raised on Saturday will go to support these ongoing efforts.

“Our goal for this year’s Night of Giving event was to connect with the community in a personal way, in spite of not being able to have a live event,” stated the event’s video producer, Mark Triolo. “I think the video truly captures the spirit of Hospitality House and its guests.  I hope that it has brought out the support that Hospitality House deserves in order to continue its mission.”

All feedback for the event has been positive to date, with many enjoying the performance by John McCutcheon and the musical tribute to Utah Phillips, created by 30 artists performing a single song together. Those unable to attend the Virtual Night of Giving can still view the video on hhshelter.org through Dec. 31. 

Hospitality House would like to thank and acknowledge McKaig and Triolo, and fellow event volunteers Peter Mason, Steve Baker, David Langness, Catherine Busch, Pam Roberts, Kathy Dotson, and JB Eckle for their work to create this year’s event, as well as this year’s artists, business sponsors, angel donors and the greater community who streamed and gave during the event. 

Business sponsors: County of Nevada – Better Together, SPD Markets, BriarPatch Food Co-op, Telestream, B & C Ace Home & Garden Center, KVMR, YubaNet, Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Clientworks, Coldwell Banker Grass Roots, Sweetland Garden Mercantile, MWA, Inc. and PE Consulting & Associates. 

Amazing Talent: Steve Baughman, Murray Campbell, Kelly Fleming, Lorraine Gervais, Che Greenwood, Sands Hall, Paul Kamm, Eleanore MacDonald, Maggie McKaig, Randy McKean, Brendan Phillips, Dan Scanlan, Annette Taborn, Bodie Wagner, Homer Wills, Luke Wilson, Nevada Union Concert Choir as directed by Rod Baggett, and lastly, John McCutcheon.

To help further services to those in need, the community’s support is always welcome and appreciated. Donations may be made at hhshelter.org, by calling 530-615-0852, or by sending a donation made payable to Hospitality House at 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945.