Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Quahog Challenge Cooks Up Hope for HAC Clients

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Sep 15, 2017 @ 10:52 AM
QuahogChallenge17-2.jpgAn attendee samples a stuffed quahog made by Sea Dog Brew Pub in Yarmouth. There were a total of 11 chefs and nine restaurants who competed in this year's Cape Cod Quahog Challenge. 

On a sunny Sunday at the beginning of last month, 11 local chefs and 9 Cape restaurants and their staff chose to donate their time, energy and talents to cooking up some much-needed hope for HAC and the clients they serve.

That hope can in the form of tasty samplers of a regional dish – stuffed quahogs – served up as part of the agency’s 3rd Annual Cape Cod Quahog Challenge at Trader Ed’s in Hyannis. “We all have choices for what we do on a beautiful Sunday on Cape Cod and the fact that you’re all here really means a lot to all of us,” HAC CEO Alisa Galazzi told this year’s competitors.

Together, the 11 participants and the nearly 300 people in attendance helped HAC raise more than $30,000 that will go to support the agency’s housing programs on Cape Cod and the Islands.

In the amateur category, Ron Winner led The Shepley Shuckers to their third straight victory, besting newcomer O’Keegan’s Quahogs cooked up by HAC staffer Jodi Keegan. Keegan and her friend Amanda O’Connell dug up all the quahogs, plus blue crabs, that were used in her recipe.

QuahogChallenge17-1.jpgFor the third straight year, The Shepley Shuckers came out on top in the amateur category. 

It was a similar story in the restaurant category where Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar of Eastham, took home its third title. Coming in second and third, respectively, were newcomers Cape Tip Seafood Market of Truro and Wicked Good Seafood Truck of East Falmouth.

When master of ceremonies Matt Pitta of Cape Cod Broadcasting asked Wicked Good Seafood’s Bill Henrique what the secret ingredient was in their stuffies, he replied, “love” to laughter.

Cape Tip Seafood’s Courtney Roach expanded upon that notion when the market was handed its second place trophy. “If you make it with love, it tastes better,” she said.

“It’s all about the love here today,” Pitta chimed in.

And it’s that special ingredient which will make a major difference in the lives of those looking for safe, secure housing on Cape Cod.

To view more photos from the 3rd Annual Cape Cod Quahog Challenge, visit our Facebook page here

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Cape Cod Broadcasting, Cape Cod Quahog Challenge, Shepley Wood Products, Matt Pitta, Quahog Challenge, Ron Winner, Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar, Jodi Keegan

Angel House Clients Treated to Valentine's Day Meal

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 @ 11:47 AM
Angel House Valentines-3.jpgA few of the Angel House mothers with the Valentine's Day carnations that were given to them by four dedicated HAC volunteers. 

Love can be exhibited in a number of ways. On Valentine’s Day, four dedicated HAC volunteers did so by giving each mother at Angel House a vase filled with carnations and delivering them and their children a meal that included buffalo chicken pot pies, mashed potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and cookies.

The dinner was the work of Wendy and Ron Winner of Centerville, Peter Brooks of Osterville and former HAC board member Jack Delaney. The group even took time to decorate the shelter for the occasion. Over the past three years, the four have organized similar meals to show their support for those at Angel House. The shelter serves mothers recovering from substance abuse and their children.

“I’ve been here for 10 months and every time they do this is overwhelming,” said Jocelyn.

Jackie, another mother staying at the shelter, expressed similar gratitude for the generosity of the HAC volunteers. “It is amazing,” she said. “They made us feel appreciated and it encourages us to do better.”

Support HAC's Angel House Shelter

Tags: Volunteer Cape Cod, Angel House, HAC Volunteers, Ron Winner, charitable giving, Valentine's Day

HAC's Impact Measured in Handprints

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Sep 09, 2016 @ 01:09 PM
retouched_sign.jpgAngel House clients give a special thank you to HAC CEO Rick Presbrey (right). 

In sheer numbers, it’s estimated that HAC has helped roughly 160,000 people over the past 42 years. That number is so large it is difficult to put it into perspective.

In the middle of July, HAC founder Rick Presbrey gained a little insight into just that, discovering exactly what HAC has meant to 13 mothers and their children currently staying at HAC’s Angel House shelter when they presented him with a banner emblazoned with each of their handprints. Underneath the handprints were their names, representing a small group of people that HAC has influenced in a positive way through the work it does at the homeless shelter.

The women gave Presbrey the banner at an annual summer barbecue organized by volunteer Ron Winner of Centerville, his wife, Wendy Winner, and their friend Jon Weisblatt of Harwich.

Upon receiving the gift, Presbrey expressed his gratitude to the women. “I very much appreciate this, but the fact is the work here is about helping people and about creating opportunities for people to do things with their lives,” he told them. “If I’ve done anything worthwhile, it’s because people like you essentially are given an opportunity to make a change in their lives and that’s really important. It can be done. Things can be dramatically improved and I’m just hoping and praying you guys can do it.”

Afterwards, Angel House facility director Lin Rohr spoke about what Presbrey has meant to the shelter and the women it serves. “Even though the population changes, his support doesn’t,” she said. “It is consistent. It is kind. It is caring. He believes in them and they know it.” 

Donate to Angel House

Tags: homelessness, Rick Presbrey, Angel House, Ron Winner, Lin Rohr

HAC Annual Meeting Recognizes Community Leaders

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, Mar 21, 2016 @ 01:12 PM
Bill_and_Linda_Zammer_small.jpgWilliam and Linda Zammer will be recognized with HAC's 2016 Business Partner Award. 

Next month, HAC’s 42nd Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition will usher in an entirely new award that recognizes those making a positive impact on Cape Cod.

The Transitional Living Center of Cape Cod Committee will be the first recipient of this honor which has been named the Make a Difference Award. The committee consists of local leaders working to find a location and model for a new homeless shelter outside of downtown Hyannis.

The committee is an offshoot of one created a few years ago that helped launch the Day Center at NOAH, a program that started in May 2014 as a way to provide shelter and services to the region’s homeless during the day. Members of The Transitional Living Center of Cape Cod Committee include Elizabeth Wurfbain, executive director of the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District (BID); Barnstable Police Chief Paul MacDonald; Heidi Nelson, CEO of Duffy Health Center; Paula Schnepp, the regional network coordinator for the Cape & Islands Regional Network to Address Homelessness; Abbott “Sid” Davidson of Centerville; Deborah Krau, vice president of the Greater Hyannis Civic Association; and HAC CEO Rick Presbrey.

The 2016 Business Partner Award will go to longtime HAC supporters William and Linda Zammer, owner of Cape Cod Restaurants, Inc. which includes the Coonamessett Inn and The Flying Bridge Restaurants in Falmouth, as well as Tugboats Restaurant in Hyannis and Clancy’s in Dennis Port. The couple funded the establishment of the Institute for Hospitality and Culinary Studies, named in their honor, at Cape Cod Community College. Over the years, homeless and formerly homeless individuals have received free culinary arts training at the institute.

ohmans01.jpg winner01.jpg

Kathy and John Ohman (photo above, left), co-founders of Friends or Relatives With Autism or Related Disabilities (FORWARD) are the recipients of this year’s Human Services Partner Award. The Dennis couple have three sons, two of whom are on the autism spectrum.

HAC is currently partnering with FORWARD to build housing for autistic adults on 4.9 acres of land on Hokum Rock Road in Dennis. The current proposal calls for eight units of housing. “We’re grateful to HAC and the Town of Dennis for recognizing the need for housing for developmentally disabled adults,” said Kathy, president of FORWARD. “We would not be able to do this without the support and generosity of HAC and the town.”

The final honoree at this year’s Annual Meeting is Ron Winner (photo above, right) who is being recognized as HAC’s Volunteer of the Year. Winner, who works at Shepley Wood Products, is a familiar face at both the NOAH Shelter and Angel House, where he regularly serves meals to clients.

Over the past two years, he has organized a cookout at the end of summer for women and their children staying at Angel House. He also has put together a holiday meal at the shelter, showing his compassion for those HAC serves.

Winner’s cooking skills were on full display to the public when he took part in HAC’s inaugural Quahog Challenge last summer, bringing home first place in the amateur category with Shepley colleague Kenny Mansbach.

HAC's 42nd Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition

When: Thursday, April 7, 5-7:30 pm

Where: Cape Codder Resort & Spa at 1225 Iyannough Road, Hyannis

Networking begins at 5 pm with the program starting at 5:30 pm. To register for the event, click this link.  

Tags: Annual Meeting, Ron Winner, The Transitional Living Center, FORWARD at the Rock

HAC's Inaugural Cape Cod Quahog Challenge a Success

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 @ 10:21 AM
describe the imageNathan Nickerson (from left) and Susan Buckley of Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar celebrate their win with Kenny Mansbach and Ron Winner of Shepley Wood Products who took home top honors in the amateur category. 

There is an adage that procrastination is the enemy of success, but that concept was flipped on its head when Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar came away with the top prize at HAC’s inaugural Cape Cod Quahog Challenge.

The popular Eastham clam shack was the last entrant, signing up less than a week before the challenge where they joined seven other area restaurants competing for bragging rights to determine who makes the best stuffed quahog on Cape Cod. Apparently, that was more than enough time for the restaurant’s chef Susan Buckley to prepare her entry – aptly named Susie’s Stuffies - which attendees voted as their favorite on the first Sunday in August.

“We have a great product, but so do the other restaurants here… It’s really not about whether you win or lose, although it doesn’t hurt to win,” said Arnold’s owner Nathan Nickerson before he talked about the underlying importance of the event. “It is wonderful the programs that HAC has that help people get into housing. They do a great job and it is a great organization.”

“It is always important to give back to the community,” added John Shea, owner of Trader Ed’s in Hyannis, which not only hosted the event, but competed in it.

The setting overlooking Hyannis Harbor on a sunny summer day was ideal for the public to sample stuffed quahogs made by some of the top chefs on Cape Cod. The event was made even more festive with live music provided by Four Guys Cape Cod and appearances by Santa Claus, Cape Cod Country’s lobster mascot, Doug the Quahog, and radio personality Ralphie Marino.

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Over $10,000 was raised from ticket sales, a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and sales of T-shirts that will go to support HAC’s housing programs on Cape Cod and the Islands.

HAC’s event coordinator Deanna Bussiere conceived of the idea with HAC’s director of communications and development Julie Wake and volunteer Ron Winner of Shepley Wood Products – he entered the competition with his coworker Kenny Mansbach, winning the amateur title – earlier this year after the three had seved a meal at the NOAH Shelter. “It was a wonderful way to celebrate a regional cuisine, highlight the great restaurants and chefs on Cape Cod and use it all as a means to give back to the community,” said Bussiere.

2015 QUAHOG CHALLENGE COMPETITORS

Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar (Eastham)

The Improper Bostonian (Dennis Port)

Lost Dog Pub (Dennis)

O'Shea's Olde Inn (West Dennis)

Pilot House Restaurant (Sandwich)

Red Face Jack's Pub & Sports Bar (Yarmouth)

Shepley's Stuffers (Hyannis)

Spanky's Clam Shack (Hyannis)

Trader Ed's (Hyannis)

PROFESSIONAL CHAMPION: Arnold's 

AMATEUR CHAMPION: Shepley's Stuffers

                          SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS!

Cape Cod Broadcasting Media

Cape Save Weatherization

Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank Charitable Foundation Trust

Hyannis Toyota and KIA of Cape Cod

Narragansett Beer

Neighborhood Health Plan

Polar Cave Ice Cream

Shepley Wood Products

Tags: fundraiser, Cape Cod Quahog Challenge, Shepley Wood Products, Quahog Challenge, Ron Winner