Feel-good beach fiesta

Leadership Sandpoint hosts Cinco de Mayo fundraiser to support Bonner Homeless Transitions

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

When it comes to describing this Sunday’s Cinco de Mayo fundraiser at Trinity at City Beach, Cami Murray keeps it simple: “food, booze and a good cause.”

2018 Leadership Sandpoint class members Ricci Witte and Sean Scoggin enjoy last year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration. Courtesy photo.

Murray is part of the Leadership Sandpoint class hosting the annual event, now in its 5th year. The Cinco de Mayo fundraiser benefits a different cause each year, this year that cause being Bonner Homeless Transitions, which needs to replace the roof on one of its facilities.

Leadership Sandpoint is a program under the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce aimed at providing a networking and skill-building opportunity for people interested in better understanding the challenges facing Bonner County. The group meets once a month to delve into topics like local medical care, specific business industries and how best to serve on the board of a nonprofit.

“The goal is to take emerging leaders and connect them,” Murray said.

Murray said Leadership Sandpoint chose Bonner Homeless Transitions as this year’s beneficiary out of several applicants. She said they were impressed by the variety of services BHT offers.

“They’re helping the entire human rather than providing a single service,” she said.

Program Manager Joanne Barlow said BHT serves homeless families and women in Bonner County by providing supportive housing and referrals to other local resources to assist with employment, food, clothing and life skills classes like budgeting and parenting. BHT has facilities in Sandpoint and Hope capable of housing several families or single women, who are “expected to be working within 30 days and pay a program fee of 30% of their income monthly,” Barlow said.

Barlow said the funds raised at the Cinco de Mayo celebration will replace the roof on one of BHT’s large homes, which encompasses two apartments: one three bedroom and the other a two bedroom. She said BHT does not receive any governmental funds, but relies only on donations, grants and fundraising to provide all current services. A new roof wouldn’t be possible without Leadership Sandpoint’s help.

“The roof is very old and will not last another winter,” Barlow said. “To lose the use of the facility would be devastating to the number of homeless we currently serve.”

Leadership Sandpoint’s Cinco de Mayo fundraiser is free and open to the public, and slated to run 4-8 p.m. Sunday. There will be food and drinks courtesy of Trinity, a silent auction, live music and a DJ, as well as some legendary raffle items, including a Schweitzer season pass and 10-day stay in Hawaii. No need to be present to win a raffle — just get tickets from any Leadership Sandpoint member before or at the event. Raffles are $5 per ticket or $20 for five.

Find the event on Facebook under “Cinco de Mayo!” hosted by Leadership Sandpoint. To learn more about Leadership Sandpoint, visit sandpointchamber.org/programs-services/leadership-sandpoint. For more information on Bonner Homeless Transitions, visit bonnerhomelesstransitions.org or contact Barlow at [email protected]

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