6th Annual Difference Makers Banquet
Celebrating 75 years of service
Thursday, May 6, 2021
Doors open at 6 p.m.
Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m.
Southbank Hotel Jacksonville Riverfront
(formerly The Lexington Hotel & Conference Center)
1515 Prudential Dr., Jacksonville, FL 32207
Join City Rescue Mission in celebrating the 75th anniversary of its mission of transforming the lives
of the homeless, needy, and addicted in Jacksonville. The evening will honor “difference makers” in
our community and feature a special guest speaker.
John came to his CEO post at Citygate Network in 2007 from Christian Camp and Conference Association, where he served for 15 years in the COO role. The combination of the two positions has given him a career of almost 30 years in association management. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Bible, with a social work emphasis, and a Master of Organizational Management. He is the author of Invisible Neighbors, considered by many to be the “how-to manual” for followers of Jesus who are serious about meaningful engagement with the poor. He also serves on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals. He and his wife, Judi, enjoy tennis and overnight hikes in remote, mountainous regions. Thanks to their three married children, they now have a growing collection of amazing grandchildren.
Andy was born to Carl and Joanie Bales In 1958. Both parents grew up and met in Des Moines’ southeast bottoms, still known as the poor side of town and the “wrong side of the tracks”. Though Carl had experienced homelessness throughout his childhood, from ages 4-17, Carl(deceased) and Joanie, present today, dedicated their own lives to God and while Andy was in his mom’s womb, dedicated Andy’s life to God.
Since the week in the Winter of 1985, when Andy preached a message about the importance of feeding hungry people and never turning your back on a hurting person among us to students in his classroom 6 times on a Friday, only to not practice what he preached when a hungry man asked him for his sandwich while Andy worked a 2nd job on the weekend.
Since then, Andy has been haunted by the thought of leaving one precious human being on the streets. He used to look through people digging out of dumpsters or living in the streets but immediately, that “haunting” turned into action, as Andy has led 4 Non-Profits addressing homelessness in Des Moines, Iowa, Pasadena and now at Union Rescue Mission of Los Angeles, and has helped raise an estimated $400 Million over the years.
Andy and wife Bonnie gave 6 children, 8 grandchildren, helped parent 25 foster children through the years and have thousands of other parents and other “children” who along with their children and grandchildren give thanks to Andy & Bonnie for working so passionately to better their lives and the lives of others.