Faith festival gets community support

Published 11:09 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A fundraising event for a faith-based nonprofit has seen an outpouring of support from local businesses that have donated items for the auction, a representative of the organization said.

Impact Suffolk will hold the event at Bethlehem Christian Church, 1549 Holland Road, on Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m. It will feature music by Note Worthy, Richard Maples and Nu-Wine with free admission. Food will be available for purchase, and a cash-only auction will be held.

“We have to raise all the funds for all of the events we do,” said Lynne Johnston, the treasurer and fundraising chairperson for the organization. “All of it goes to support the work we do.”

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The organization’s signature outreach, the annual Thanksgiving food giveaway, is largely supported by canned food donations from participating churches, but the organization tries to provide meat, Johnston said.

“We raise money to try to buy meat to give people for Thanksgiving,” she said.

Ricky and Roy’s donated part of the meal that will be served on Saturday, and many local retailers have given items to be auctioned.

“It’s been amazing how great the folks are in town to support this kind of event,” Johnston said. “We’re a small town filled with people with big hearts.”

Brandon House donated a painting to be auctioned, and Precision Pawn gave an opal and diamond ring, Johnston said. Lowe’s donated a grill, and D.B. Bowles Jewelers gave a men’s watch. The Hilton Garden Inn gave a night’s stay, the Spirit of Norfolk donated two lunch cruises and the Norfolk Tides gave away tickets. Applebee’s, sweetFrog, Hair Graphics and Harbour Veterinary Clinic all gave gift certificates.

“It renews your faith in people,” Johnston said. “These are small businesses that are facing the same struggles we all are. That’s what’s going to make this possible — the goodness of other people reaching out.”