Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A&E FYI: Little Treasures Boo Hoo Ball to help save preschool

Imagine being a child who is continually moving because your mom is single and homeless. You stay with relatives or friends sometimes, other times you stay in a shelter.

Now imagine going to a childcare center every day where you are lovingly greeted, where the caregivers understand you and your mom, where your environment is stable and you can count on everything being the same, every day.

Imagine this place also helping your mom with basic needs and with referrals to community services that can help her continue her education or find a job.

Imagine them also helping her learn how to parent you more effectively.

To many area children and families this wonderful, stable place is Little Treasures Childcare and Family Center – the same place that has been looking for an affordable building to house its infants, toddlers and preschoolers in one place since January.

Little Treasures currently serves 18 infants and toddlers at its main site in the Human Development Center at 1401 E. First St. and 12 preschoolers at its preschool located in an apartment across the street. The lease on the preschool apartment was to end this month, leaving Little Treasures with no space for its preschoolers. However, that lease has been extended through November. Arrangements are currently being made to move Little Treasures’ preschoolers to a temporary location while grants and the fund-raising needed to rent or purchase a suitable space are collected.

Enter Little Treasures’ board of directors, a group that has been holding fund-raisers, knocking on doors and brainstorming ways to raise the funds needed to save the preschool and find a new home for Little Treasures.

Little Treasures’ board is currently in a big push to organize and sell tickets for a fund-raiser benefiting Little Treasures called the Boo Hoo Ball.

The Boo Hoo Ball will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Duluth Art Institute’s Lincoln Center, 2229 W. Second St.

The evening will include live music from Taconite, hors d’ oeuvres from New Scenic Café and spirits from Last Chance Liquor.

A costume contest and a silent auction will round out the evening’s festivities. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased by calling (218) 348-3517.

“We are hoping the Boo Hoo Ball will become our annual fundraiser,” said Peg Johnson, executive director of Little Treasures Childcare and Family Center. “Our wish is that every family be given the tools and the opportunity to stabilize, grow and thrive. We’d like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to help us continue our mission and to get the Boo Hoo Ball off the ground.”

The Boo Hoo Ball is being made possible by Republic Bank and through a grant from the Northland Foundation. Additional sponsors currently include Stolat Partners, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, New York Life-Jim Johnson, SMDC Health System, GPM, Inc., Lake Superior Medical Society Alliance, Monaco Air, KTM Paving and Hansen House Company.

Little Treasures Childcare and Family Center seeks to strengthen families and the community by integrating family support, parent education and enriched childcare services. Little Treasures is located at 1401 E. First St. The nonprofit center has been serving families in the community since 2000.

(Image and text courtesy of Little Treasures.)

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