Chaffee County Family & Youth Initiatives held its 16th annual For Kids’ Sake fundraiser Saturday at Chaffee County Fairgrounds, raising $36,900 to help support its programs.
“It’s amazing that the community supports us and continues to support us,” Monika Haskell, FYI director, said. “We’re very grateful for all of the support that we get.”
Haskell said the nonprofit organization is about 80 percent funded by grants. The grants, however, are specific about what the money can be used for, and the fundraiser helps fill in some gaps.
“This really pulls it all together,” Haskell said, adding that community donations also help them when applying for grants because it shows the community supports them.
About 100 people attended this year’s fundraiser, “Cirque du Chaffee,” with its circus theme. Salida Circus and ska band Swashbuckling Doctors provided entertainment while several people were recognized at the event.
Jodi Petit was named the organization’s Volunteer of the Year. Haskell said Petit has helped them by taking photos, helping write grants, entering data into their new system and other things.
“She’s amazing,” Haskell said. “Whenever we need her help, we call her up and she says ‘sure.’”
Petit said she volunteers with the organization for two reasons: The work they do is preventative, and she also gets to work with capable, bright and fun people.
“It’s a very nice fit for me,” Petit said. “I wanted to do something that’s serious and something that matters.”
Shannon Hall was named the organization’s Youth of the Year.
“It’s hard to get kids to invest and give back sometimes,” Haskell said. “Shannon volunteers with our Nurturing Parenting program, volunteers for events and she’s phenommonal with kids; she’ll do child care for us.”
The organization also had a tribute for one of its founding members who recently died, Jane Whitmer. “That was a huge loss for us,” Haskell said. “We wanted to bring her into the room tonight.”
The event was substance-free for the first time, serving fancy “mocktails” instead of alcohol. Haskell said the goal was to show that adults are able to have a great time without alcohol or drugs. “We tell others to do it, so we need to walk the walk,” Haskell said.
The organization also created a substance-free logo that other organizations can use if they choose to host a substance-free event of their own.