Rescue Mission celebrates ‘momentum’
By Rene Ray De La Cruz /Staff Writer
Posted in the Daily Press – October 5, 2018
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APPLE VALLEY — The Victor Valley Rescue Mission rolled out the red carpet for its army of donors, volunteers and staff during the nonprofit’s 10th Annual Appreciation Banquet.
Nearly 400 people attended the “Momentum” themed dinner at Church of the Valley in Apple Valley last week, which was also attended by Victorville Mayor Gloria Garcia, First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood and several state, county and local representatives.
Mission Director Bill Edwards moderated the event that celebrated the “momentum” of the rescue mission that has propelled the nonprofit from the past to the present and into the future.
“Our theme comes from Hebrews 13:8, where it states that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever,” said VVRM Community Relations Coordinator Dawn Seeley. “The purpose of the mission is that no matter what we do, we know that our momentum is from the Lord as we serve, grow and expand.”
During the banquet, representative Rebecca Tennison from Sen. Scott Wilk’s office announced that the VVRM had been selected as “Charity of the Quarter.” The VVRM is the first nonprofit charity in the High Desert to have received the award, Edwards said.
Penny Heflebower, the wife of the late David Ernest Heflebower who founded the Victorville-based VVRM, was also honored during the banquet by state, county and local officials who presented her with certificates of appreciation.
David Heflebower was a 69-year-old Air Force veteran, who died in February after a long illness and complications of a stroke, according to his daughter, Cynthia Heflebower.
Former VVRM Director Ron Wilson, who now pastors Grapevine Fellowship in Las Vegas, was also honored during the evening.
Several Life Recovery Program graduates shared their testimony of “life transformation” through the VVRM’s nine-month program that was designed to “restore men to their families, jobs and the local church,” Seeley said.
The Life Recovery Program offers addiction recovery, biblical counseling, vocational training, transitional housing and a computer learning center for men. The transitional housing program helps graduates find and maintain stable employment, save money toward their own permanent residence and continue the long road of recovery.
Several of the VVRM’s accomplishments from 2017 were shared, including 20,383 people served, 34,757 hot meals prepared, 8,366 food boxes distributed and 11 Life Recovery graduates.
“We also shared a bit about the warming shelter, our work with the High Desert Food Collaborative and our food truck program that was launched during the KaBOOM playground build last month,” Seeley said. “We also announced that our mobile shower truck should be ready to go soon.”
“We’re having our mobile shower truck wrapped and it should be fully operational by November,” Edwards said. “Chris Nunez suggested that we call our Survival Outreach Services (SOS) trucks ‘grub and scrub.’”
Upcoming events by the VVRM include Thanksgiving dinner in November, where the nonprofit expects to feed over nearly 2,000 people and hand out over 300 food baskets. The group’s Christmas Toy Giveaway is scheduled for December, where nearly 3,000 new toys will be given to children of the High Desert
Established in 2000, the VVRM became a part of the Rescue Mission Alliance in 2008. The nonprofit provides homeless men with opportunities for spiritual and physical recovery.