Legends Bar & Grill is among the most recent businesses to host a fundraiser to offset the Strathmore Overnight Shelter’s (SOS) operational budget, and tickets were already more than halfway sold at the beginning of the week.

The collaboration came to fruition after Jane Mitton, of Plain Jane Event Inc., heard about the shelter’s efforts on social media. The newly graduated event planner approached both parties to organize a silent auction, dinner and entertainment fundraiser on Jan. 20. When the Strathmore Times went to print ear-lier this week, the event had already sold over 50 tickets for entertainment and the dinner – half of the available 100.

“I found it to be a really good cause and thought what better way than to implement my skills and support a really good cause,” said Mitton. “I believe in what they’ve done and how they’re go-ing to help people afterward. Basically the shelter is not a permanent solution, it’s a stepping stone, and it’s somewhere where people can go for five days; and then if they need help after, the SOS will continue to work with them and point them in the right direction. It’s important because the follow through is there.”

The Be a Legend fundraiser consists of a three-course prime rib meal, silent auction, 50/50 tickets and entertainment by three bands: T. Buckley Trio, Steel & Timber and the Contraband.So far, the overnight shelter has held roughly 10 fundraisers over a year and a half with the help of Strathmore’s businesses and community members, where proceeds were allocated to the shelter’s operational funds. Legends Bar & Grill opened its doors in 2015 and since then has made it a priority to get involved in the community whenever possible.

“We’ve been doing as much as we can with the community,” said Logan Cox, co-owner of Legends Bar & Grill.

“For us, we’re not a big operation. We’re quite a small business in the town. So to me the most important thing is doing this kind of stuff because it helps us get out there and be part of the community.”

Richard Rodgers, director of outreach with SOS, estimated operational costs to total approximately $120,000. That includes salary for a full or part-time employee, electricity, utilities and food. So far the shelter has raised $20,000.”

Legends really pulled through and everyone is really coming together right now,” said Rodgers. “With our fundraisers and the idea of the shelter, people realize that it’s a need, compared to when we first started. It was a real struggle. It’s going to be a reality once the physical renovations are done, so it’s just a matter of time when we open.”Rodgers plans to have at least one fundraiser a month going forward. On Feb. 24, the Coldest Night of the Year will take place in Strathmore, a nation- wide family-friendly fundraiser where participants can help raise money and partake in a 2 km, 5 km or 10 km walk.

The Be a Legend fundraiser will take place on Jan. 20 from 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or on-line at Eventbrite.ca. Tickets are $40, or $10 for entertainment only.

By Miriam Ostermann, Strathmore Times

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