Thanks to some very generous donations and a great turnout from the community despite a rainy evening December 3, Fin’s Seafood Restaurant in Grover Beach raised more than $19,500 for children, youth and families impacted by homelessness in southern San Luis Obispo County.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from Fin’s annual “Dinner for a Cause,” held on Giving Tuesday (always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving), is donated to 5Cities Homeless Coalition to meet critical needs of those who are homeless and facing homelessness, particularly unaccompanied youth and families with children.
Two large cash donations were recognized during the evening. One $5,000 gift came from a woman the Coalition helped house a few years ago who had previously been living in a shed without plumbing. She is now on her feet, in escrow to purchase a home, with one of her children graduating soon and heading to Stanford. She credits 5Cities Homeless Coalition with giving her the leg up she needed.
The second donation of $1,800 came from the band Sound Investment, who also donated their time to provide the evening’s entertainment. “Butch Valko and the members of Sound Investment have adopted some of our families and always keep in touch with us to see how they can help vulnerable members of our community,” according to Janna Nichols, 5Cities Homeless Coalition Executive Director.
Another donation was auctioned off during the event. It came from New York Mets All-Star and Nipomo native Jeff McNeil, who agreed to provide a one-hour guided baseball practice and lunch at Fin’s to the winning bidder.
“We are grateful to Bruce Van Vort and the outstanding crew at Fin’s, Jeff McNeil, Sound Investment, our volunteers, our donors and our sponsors, as well as community members who turned out in spite of the weather,” Nichols said. “The funds contributed on Giving Tuesday couldn’t come at a better time.”
Money raised will help meet the increasing calls for Coalition services. “We respond to more than 3,000 calls every year to help families with housing assistance, eviction prevention services and basic needs,” Nichols said. Donations help fund case management, programs and operating costs as well as direct financial assistance for families – particularly children and youth – facing homelessness.
Pacific Premier Bank and 23 other local businesses and individuals partnered with Fin’s this year to host the event.