Last year’s inaugural Love Keeps Us Warm event was a resounding success, said Debbie McBee of Altrusa International of Pendleton.

“The cause — helping homeless students — pulled on people’s heartstrings,” she said.

Money from the fundraiser was earmarked for Altrusa’s KARE (Kids At Risk Empowered) program. The project aims to help meet basic needs of homeless students in the Pendleton School District. During the 2018 fundraiser, organizers were approached by at least a dozen couples asking them to make it an annual event.

This year, Love Keeps Us Warm is Saturday, Feb. 9 from 7-11 p.m. at Hamley Slickfork Saloon, 8 S.E. Court Ave., Pendleton.

Tickets are $25 each. They are available at the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce, 501 S. Main St., or from Pendleton Altrusans.

Tickets may be available at the door, however, McBee expects the event to sell out and encourages people to obtain tickets in advance.

Returning for the event is Blue Wave Band. The six-piece band from Seattle plays everything from jazz and rock to old school and Motown. People will have an opportunity to dance or just have fun socializing, McBee said.

People are encouraged to put their diets on hold for a variety of hearty hors d’oeuvres and delicious desserts. McBee said people will find some of last year’s favorites, including three types of Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes, as well as individually sized Atomic Bomb Mousse Cakes, mini-cupcakes, macarons, Willamette Valley Pie Co. pies, Cheryl’s valentines cookies and a candy buffet.

Also, people have a chance to bring home a raffle prize. Ticket stubs will be drawn for a chance to win baskets valued at $50-$200, as well as floral arrangements.

In addition, a game of “Heads or Tails” will provide participants with a chance to win half the pot, with the other going to the KARE project.

McBee encourages people to bring cash or checks to purchase a strand of beads for $5 or three strands for $10 to play the game. Chris Fritsch, Pendleton School District superintendent, will flip a coin to whittle down the crowd until a winner is determined

“Depending on how many people participate, the prize money could be close to $500 or more for the winner to keep,” McBee said. “The game goes quickly and is very fun. This is an optional activity and is fun to watch even if you don’t participate.”

Through Altrusa’s KARE project, 53 of the 100 known homeless students in the Pendleton School District have received assistance. McBee said an average of $300 is spent on each student. Several local business and individuals donated $300 this school year to “sponsor a child,” which McBee said made a huge difference in helping students.

Last year, Altrusa spent more than $20,000 on the project.

Those who can’t attend can help by making tax-deductible donations to Altrusa/KARE, P.O. Box 1735, Pendleton, OR 97801. For more information about KARE, contact Karen Rose at 541-969-3587, k_rose1232@hotmail.com or McBee at 541-276-3796.

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Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539

Community Editor

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