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Fund-raiser helps ACT

By Staff | Nov 10, 2008

The holidays arrived a little earlier this year in the Cape.

A fund-raiser for Abuse Counseling and Treatment Inc. called “Holiday of Hope” took place poolside at the nearly refurbished Quality Hotel on Saturday.

The benefit, held from 5-10 p.m., got off to a slow start, but as the sun fell and the sky took on the warm colors of sunset, revelers started to trickle in to hear some music, grab a a drink at the tiki bar and pay their respects to ACT with generous donations.

“It’s still early, we just got going,” said Sheryl Bisset, event organizer and owner of Lilies by Design. “We’re definitely going to pick up.”

Bisset was moved to the throw the fund-raiser by the sad tale of Zahid Jones, the 3-year-old Cape boy who died after being beaten. Kashon Scott was charged and convicted of the crime.

In an interview last week, Bisset said she was grateful for ACT, which provides shelter to victims of abuse.

Unfortunately, like most non-profits through the region, ACT’s fund-raising proceeds have been off this year by $150,00.

The lull in fund-raising comes on the heels of ACT’s busiest period. The first six months of 2008 saw the number of clients double compared to 2007.

“I’ve been with this organization a long time, and it’s the worst that I’ve seen,” said Jennifer Benton, ACT’s CEO. “But these events help. It all adds up.”

The shelves of ACT’s food bank have been hit particularly hard, forcing the 501 3c organization to use the majority of its funds to purchase food from the Harry Chapin Food Bank, which provides food items at a discount.

Of course, Harry Chapin is fairing much better, causing ACT to seek food from grocery stores and big box retailers.

“It costs us more to buy from stores,” Benton said.

Attendees were given several options by which to donate, from a silent auction to raffle items, plus a 50/50 drawing, in which the winner split the proceeds with ACT. Of course, the winner could just donate his or her half of the winnings if they chose to.

James Chaney was one of those who came out to support ACT. His company, Fat Rocks Catering, catered the event.

He said given the economy, fund-raisers like Bisset’s are crucial to helping non-profit organizations.

“A lot of organizations are suffering because of this economy,” Chaney said. “The more you give, the more you get. These events can only help.”