Toe tapping feast to aid men's shelter

By Geoff Lee

November 16, 2017 11:57 AM

Heather Gray, executive director of the Lloydminster Men’s Shelter tapes a poster to a wall promoting a Heroes for the Hungry fundraiser for the shelter this Saturday night at the Lloydminter Legacy Centre. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

Thump your chest if you want to be counted among the local Heroes for the Hungry.
Call the Lloydminster Social Action Coalition Society today to sign on to help the homeless during an evening of food and entertainment at the Lloydminster Legacy Centre on Saturday night.
Tickets are $30 a person or $200 per table for a dinner and dance featuring the Kenny Mac Band with the doors open at 5 p.m.
Heroes for the Hungry is a new fundraiser in aid of the Lloydminster Men’s Shelter operated under the umbrella of the coalition along with the Homes for All project.
“It’s to raise money for the shelter; the money is for operational expenses,” said Heather Gray, executive director of the shelter.
“We are government funded, but we only receive about 82 per cent of the funding that we need to operate.”
Gray has an ambitious fundraising goal of $20,000 from ticket sales, a silent auction and a 50/50 draw with the hope it will become an annual event.
“We’re hoping that it will be a success and we can run this year to year,” she said.
The silent auction items range from home baked goods and lamps and plaques from local businesses to a couple of Sidney Crosby signed hockey sticks.
The supper will be a catered feast by Hot Cuisine from Marwayne with no second helpings needed thanks to a four stage supper.
“There’s meat loaf, shepherd’s pie and a chicken meal and then there’s steak and lobster,” said Gray who paints a clear picture of what’s in store for ticket buyers.
“It’s food and entertainment and there will be some public education regarding homelessness,” she said.
Expect a few words from special guests including Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers and Border City MLAs Colleen Young and Dr. Richard Starke.
Heroes for the Hungry is the brainchild of Tyler Lorenz who did a summer practicum at the men’s shelter while taking an Addictions and Community Services Worker course at Reeves College.
“One of the things we asked him to do was to help plan a fundraiser and this is what he came up with,” said Gray.
Lorenz is now a casual direct care worker at the shelter who said he based the idea for Heroes for the Hungry on hunger banquets organized by other social poverty charities.
“I kind of modelled it after that where you have different levels of meals,” said Lorenz.
He also said he would be personally happy if they raised half of the target amount especially without having a major sponsor for the inaugural event.
Lorenz said his casual employment allows him to focus on outreach activities like Heroes for the Hungry that aren’t funded by the government.
“It gives me the opportunity to do anything and everything as far as dealing with various social programs and agencies,” he said.
“It actually worked out very well.”
With local politicians invited, Heroes for the Hungry is good opportunity to get a message out there about what the men’s shelter and Homes for All provide to the community.
“Homes for All is our second stage housing program—we find housing for people who are ready to leave the shelter and they also have an eight bed group home,” said Gray.
“We can place individuals in that home or we can help find independent housing in the community.”
The winter cold front that moved into Lloydminster earlier than expected caught the men’s shelter with no winter gloves or boots to hand out.
The 28-bed shelter had about 20 clients last week when the thermometer plummeted.
“Right now, what we need is hand wear—mitts and gloves and we also need some toiletry supplies in the way of razors and shaving cream,” said Gray.

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