Shelter to host tailgate party

By Andy Winemiller - awinemiller@s24476.p831.sites.pressdns.com
Volunteers man the drawdown table at a past tailgate party fundraiser for the Shepherds House. - Submitted photograph
Mark Rogers of Rogers Realty conducts the live auction portion of an annual Shepherds House fundraiser in 2016. - Submitted photograph
A packed banquet room at Cross Creek Country Club sits down to dinner at the 2016 Shepherds House annual tailgate party fundraiser. - Submitted photograph
Supporters of the mission of Shepherds House hit the dance floor at the homeless shelter’s annual tailgate party fundraiser in 2016. - - Submitted photograph

Football fan or not, a local charity is offering a fun way to prepare for Super Bowl LI.

On Feb. 4 the Shepherd’s House is hosting its annual Super Bowl tailgate party fundraiser. The event will take place at Cross Creek Country Club, just as it did in the two years prior.

According to Shepherd’s House executive director Mary Boyles, the homeless shelter relies heavily on the event, as the proceeds account for more than a quarter of the organization’s annual operating expenses.

Boyles said this year’s event will include a dinner, entertainment provided by B-Dazzle Productions, a silent auction and a live auction. There will also be a drawdown event which features a $10,000 prize. The event will kick off at 6 p.m. and the party will continue well into the evening.

At the 2016 tailgate fundraiser the Shepherd’s House raised more than $60,000, according to Boyles. About 325 people attended the event last year.

Tickets to the event and dinner are $30 per person, but those are sold out, said Boyles. However, a number of $100 tickets for the drawdown remain available. Also, those who would like to attend and enjoy the entertainment can purchase an entry-only ticket for $10.

“There is a great need for these services in the community,” noted Boyles.

She said in 2016 the shelter housed 253 individuals, including 90 children, but it had to turn away 413 people, nearly half of which were children, who sought shelter. That stated, Shepherd’s House isn’t a shelter which opens every evening to provide a bed for those in need then shuts its doors in the morning.

Instead, Boyles said her organization helps give those in need a hand-up. Current programs help educate those who seek the shelter’s service, and Boyles and her staff work — often times with WorkForce Unlimited — to find those sheltered at Shepherd’s Hose a job placement.

However, there’s a future vision for the shelter, and Boyles said that is what she is working toward.

“We are more than a homeless shelter,” said Boyles. “There is a great need for transitional housing.”

Boyles explained the average rent in Surry County is $600 per month. When a person leaves the shelter with a job, he or she is often required to spend more than half a month’s wages on housing. Often it leads to that person or family cycling back into homelessness.

The director also noted there is a great need in the community for a men’s shelter, as the current facility houses women and families. That need is even greater among the veteran population in the area.

The shelter is always moving forward, however, said Boyles. A partnership with North Surry High School’s Interact Club brings students into the shelter to help children housed their get on a level playing field with others in their grade level. The shelter is hoping to launch a program in which retired teachers help adults housed at the shelter prepare to earn their G.E.D.

Whether it’s in support of programs already in place or in support of the future vision for the shelter, Boyles said Shepherd’s House can’t do anything without some help from generous people, businesses and organizations in and around Mount Airy.

“We rely a lot on this community,” explained Boyles. “When we ask for support, it comes in droves.”

Boyles said those who wish to purchase tickets for the event can call the shelter at 786-1420 or contact Allison Poteat from WorkForce Unlimited at 789-8220.

Anyone wishing to make a monetary contribution to the shelter may do so by mailing a donation to P.O. Box 1722, Mount Airy, NC 27030 or may make it in person at the shelter located at 227 Rockford St. in Mount Airy.

Volunteers man the drawdown table at a past tailgate party fundraiser for the Shepherds House.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_Tailgating2-1.jpgVolunteers man the drawdown table at a past tailgate party fundraiser for the Shepherds House. Submitted photograph

Mark Rogers of Rogers Realty conducts the live auction portion of an annual Shepherds House fundraiser in 2016.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_Tailgating4-1.jpgMark Rogers of Rogers Realty conducts the live auction portion of an annual Shepherds House fundraiser in 2016. Submitted photograph

A packed banquet room at Cross Creek Country Club sits down to dinner at the 2016 Shepherds House annual tailgate party fundraiser.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_Tailgating3-1.jpgA packed banquet room at Cross Creek Country Club sits down to dinner at the 2016 Shepherds House annual tailgate party fundraiser. Submitted photograph

Supporters of the mission of Shepherds House hit the dance floor at the homeless shelter’s annual tailgate party fundraiser in 2016.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_Tailgating5-1.jpgSupporters of the mission of Shepherds House hit the dance floor at the homeless shelter’s annual tailgate party fundraiser in 2016. Submitted photograph

By Andy Winemiller

awinemiller@s24476.p831.sites.pressdns.com

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.