SUISUN CITY — With government funding drying up, it’s up to the community to keep local nonprofits like Heather House up and running, and the community showed up Saturday night for Heather House’s second annual bunco fundraiser at the Joseph A. Nelson Community Center.
Samina Masood, CEO of Heather House, the shelter that provides food and a roof for about 30 homeless women and children each night, said she expected about 120 people and possibly up to 140 for Saturday’s fundraiser.
“People come in and they play bunco, all you need to know how to do is roll the dice,” Masood said.
The event is a fun one for attendees and supporters of Heather House.
“It’s a great event, I look forward to it every year,” said Genie Branson, of Placer Title in Fairfield, as she perused the silent auction prizes.
With a number of local sponsors, Masood said the event was looking to be another success.
Last year, the bunco fundraiser brought in between $6,000 and $7,000.
“This year we’re hoping to get as close to $10,000 as possible,” Masood said.
Every little bit helps.
“Just the last year we’ve had a lot of cuts from our government grants, and therefore that deficit has to be made up through community events like bunco,” she said. “So the community is really stepping up because they realize that we feed up to 30 people every night at the shelter and we house them. We don’t want to fall short on those numbers. We want to keep up our numbers despite the fact that there have been government cuts.”
Because of that, Masood said nonprofits have to get creative.
In 2013, Heather House teamed with three other groups to put on the a turkey trot at Solano Community College.
“Even nonprofits have to become more entrepreneurial to keep up with the costs of inflation,” she said.
Between its two main fundraisers – Heather House also hosts the formal Taste of Solano in the fall – the shelter raises about $40,000 of the $300,000 needed each year to keep the doors open and maintain its top level of services.
Masood also thanked her sponsors including Papa Murphy’s, which donated the pizzas for dinner, and others that provided financial support, such as Republic Services.
“Without our sponsors, organizations like Heather House can’t survive,” Masood said.
Solano Business Group was the co-host for the event, helping out with selling tickets and serving drinks as attendees settled in for a night of dice tossing.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.