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Sunday, May 1, 2016

House of Hope Benefit Fair set for Saturday

Sunday, April 3, 2011

House of Hope will host a Benefit Fair Saturday at First Christian Church. [Order this photo]
The House of Hope fundraising train is moving full-speed ahead.

On Saturday, April 9, the organization has scheduled its first Benefit Fair.

The event will take place from 4-8 p.m., at First Christian Church, 1875 W. United States 40, Brazil.

Three local musical acts -- RideTheWind, P-150 and Decree -- will provide entertainment. In addition, a chili dinner will be featured, as will concessions.

Children will also be able to partake in available activities and a bake sale has been scheduled.

As well, House of Hope Assistant Director Bryan Rosano told The Brazil Times a silent auction, featuring items donated from local businesses, will also take place.

"We have dozens of gift certificates from local businesses," Rosano said. "We still are expecting to get a lot of things coming in over the next week."

Testimonies from former residents will also be given at the fair.

Rosano said the fair was the brainchild of the father of two former residents.

"He presented the idea to us," Rosano said. "It was an easy fit because we've done everything in the event besides the auction. And we've had previous banquets at First Christian Church."

He said planning for the event began approximately six weeks ago.

In December, the Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office conducted two inspections of the facility and found it was not in compliance with state code.

According to the findings, the building needed major upgrades, including fire alarm system, work on handicap accessible exits, a sprinkler system and more. In addition, officials with the Fire Marshal's office found there were electrical and plumbing issues with the building.

As a result, occupants at the facility were ordered to leave by Feb. 4 by the Fire Marshal's Office.

All occupants were ordered to leave the facility and approximately two-thirds of them were transferred to other facilities in Illinois, Tennessee and Arkansas.

According to Rosano, House of Hope purchased the property in 1999 and was given occupancy by the City of Brazil. While the organization considers itself a church, the state calls it a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, which is the reason for the upgrades are required.

As a result, the organization has conducted several fundraisers in recent months to help fund the facility and the upgrades for the building.

The organization conducted a pancake breakfast in March at the YMCA of Clay County, of which Rosano said went quite well.

"We do the breakfast annually," he said. "But this one was the most profitable one we've had to date."

Rosano added the organization's annual yard sale has been tentatively scheduled for May 13-15, at House of Hope, 5525 W. U.S. 40, Brazil.

"We expect in the upcoming months to make a significant dent in the money we need to raise," Rosano said. "Fundraising is doing very good. We're actually doing a little bit better than the pace we expected."

To this date, Rosano said the organization has raised approximately 25 percent of the necessary funds to upgrade its building. In addition, he said they have applied for various grants.

House of Hope has been working with an architect to obtain an estimate on the total cost of the renovations. However, a final estimate has not been determined at this point.

"We expect to have to raise $150,000," Rosano said. "But that's much less (than originally believed).

"Our core of supporters has been great. We've also extended our support base through this happening."

The fair will take place at First Christian Church because the state will not allow House of Hope to currently conduct events inside its facility.

Still, Rosano said he hopes the fair will become an annual event.

"We're already thinking about that," he said. "Maybe twice a year. It looks like it has a lot of potential."

Rosano added the organization has many more fundraisers in store this year. The monies from the fundraising could help the facility be up and running at full capacity again by January 2012, he said.

"We're shooting for a major fundraiser once a month," he said, adding a Fish Fry could be scheduled in June.

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