Hearts of Hospitality House
“I have been truly blessed in my life and this is a means to give back to my community. It breaks my heart to see people who have lost it all for whatever reason it may be.”
– Kay Borkowski
Hearts of Hospitality House was founded in 1994 as the Ladies Auxiliary for Hospitality House.
Kay Borkowski and her husband Frank moved to Boone in the fall of 1993 when Frank was named Chancellor at Appalachian State University. Prior to moving to Boone, Kay had been active with Metropolitan Ministries of Tampa, Florida, serving those in need in Tampa. Within a few short months of living in Boone, Kay was on the board of directors for Hospitality House and the LAMPLighters auxiliary of Metropolitan Ministries came to mind. Within a month, Kay gathered a group of women at the chancellor’s house to discuss the possibility of forming a similar group to aid Hospitality House.
Out of that meeting grew Hearts of Hospitality House. By the end of the next meeting there were thirty members, a full slate of officers and approved bylaws. Members immediately began discussing fundraising ideas.
By 1994, a holiday ball was planned and held a few weeks before Christmas. The semi-formal event, featuring dining, dancing and silent auction, continued successfully for the next twelve years. In 2006, to capitalize on their name, auxiliary members opted to change to a Valentine’s event and introduced the “Hearts Ball.” This new event, featuring a Dancing with the Stars competition and sweetheart auction of romance packages, ran until 2010.
For fifteen years, Hearts of Hospitality House served as the sole fundraising entity for Hospitality House, located at 302 W. King Street. If the house needed furniture, summon Hearts. If the refrigerator stopped working, call Hearts. When a client moved out and needed housewares, reach out to Hearts.
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Since 2011, when Hospitality House moved to 338 Brook Hollow Road, Hearts of Hospitality House has hosted a variety of fundraising events including fashion shows, golf tournaments and the annual Turkey Trot. Additionally, they provide the Bread of Life Community Kitchen dinner meal every fifth Friday and host monthly birthday parties for each of the children that call Hospitality House home.
In August 2017, a Hearts of Hospitality House Cookbook, "From Our House to Yours...Recipes From the Heart" was published, raising over $15,000. The cookbook, in addition to being a Hearts of Hospitality House fundraising venture, will tell the thirty-plus year history of Hospitality House and share stories of former and current residents.
Additionally, it is also a celebration of the hundreds of Bread of Life providers that allow Hospitality House to serve over 14,000 meals per month at an average cost of just $0.12 per person. A Bread of Life provider recently shared with a Hearts member, “When I serve at Hospitality House, every single person through the line says thank you for each and every item that they receive and many come back a second time to thank me for the meal.”
Since the onset COVID-19 in 2020, Hearts of Hospitality House has continued to evolve and step up to meet new and unprecedented challenges. A silent auction, held in conjunction with our Annual Hope Luncheon, transitioned to the Hope Online Auction, the premier online auction in the High Country, with over 350 items each year and raising over $40,000 annually. Additionally, they have taken on a "motherly" supportive role for Hospitality House staff by providing lunch once a week and putting together Gift Bags during the Holiday Season.
They also manage the annual Holiday Honor Card Campaign and give of their time assisting the Chief Development Director with fundraising campaigns and advocacy events.