Tickets sales considerably down for women's shelter fundraiser
Thursday, Oct 05, 2017 06:00 am
Organizers of the kickstarter fundraiser for Cochrane’s first women’s shelter are concerned if tickets sales don’t dramatically ramp up over the next couple of days, the event could wind up falling short.
The goal is to raise $25,000 at the Oct. 14 gala at the Links of GlenEagles to undertake a mandatory needs assessment to better inform how the Big Hill Haven Women’s Shelter will shape up.
“This is our branding event – us getting to know the community,” said chair and co-founder Margaret Van Tighem, who has spent a lifetime working in non-profit and with marginalized groups.
With only around 50 out of 200 available tickets sold, Van Tighem is concerned the event could end up costing money at this point – and she is running out of time to confirm seats for the catered dinner event.
The need for a women’s shelter in town has also been identified by several candidates in the municipal election – including Miles Chester.
Chester commissioned an online survey that revealed overwhelming support for a women’s shelter in town.
“I couldn’t believe the response. It surprised me a little – it shouldn’t (though), as we’re over 26,000 people,” said Chester, who served on town council in 2007-2010.
Chester said if elected, he would champion the cause and look to find some funds through the town’s budget to help get the much-needed facility off the ground. He would also look to Cochrane Family and Community Support Services to help link shelter organizers up with funding options and grant dollars.
Janet Armstrong, owner of Just Imajan Art Gallery & Studio at 320 First Street West, has donated two of her own paintings and several other pieces from the studio, created by local artists, to add to the silent and live auction items list.
The studio owner has always been a supporter of women’s shelters and is hopeful the community will get behind the initiative.
“It’s so important to get that done here … there’s such a need,” said Armstrong.
Once the assessment is commissioned and complete, the board and its volunteers can begin to fundraise for the building itself – with a goal to secure a site by next spring and start building soon after.
To date, the shelter has raised nearly $10,000. At $100 per plate for the event, as well as silent and live auction items – to be auctioneered by John Copithorne – the shelter team hopes to raise enough funds to pay for the needs assessment and start adding to the pot for the future building.
Monique Auffrey, executive director of Discovery House, will be the featured guest speaker. Former Eagle publisher Jack Tennant will be the emcee.
Tickets are available at Just Imajan Art Gallery & Studio and Cochrane Floors and More, as well as online at bighillhaven.com.