How to donate
To donate before or after the fundraiser, visit dccfoundation.org/donors and click "donate online." Then, select Eastside Village Endowment Fund and enter an amount. All donations are tax-deductible.
Eastside Village Lawrence, an in-progress organization created last summer, is hosting its first public fundraiser Thursday.
The group is part of the nationwide Village to Village Network, which helps communities establish a network of volunteers within neighborhoods to provide services to senior citizens. In the village concept, members pay an annual fee and are given one number to call for services including plumbing, housekeeping and transportation, to name a few.
The Lawrence organization has been working to establish a villge in neighborhoods east of Massachusetts Street, including North Lawrence.
“There are so many of us getting old and wondering what comes next,” said Bonnie Uffman, who has spearheaded the creation of Eastside Village Lawrence. “This is about neighbors helping neighbors. It just seems like an idea that’s time has come.”
The fundraiser, named "Early Evening with Eastside Village," is being held on the one-year anniversary of the first meeting of Eastside Village Lawrence.
Since then, a steering committee and an advisory group have been formed, the group officially joined the Village to Village Network, leaders have attended the national conference, done networking within the community and hired two full-time employees to help with setup. Eastside Village Lawrence has also secured the Douglas County Community Foundation as its fiscal sponsor.
The fundraiser will be held on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Union Pacific Depot, 402 N. Second St. Baskets of merchandise donated from local stores will be raffled off. There will be food, live music from local band Fresh Picked, and three presentations, including one from Wyatt Townley, the newly appointed Kansas poet laureate.
“We would love for as many people as possible who have any interest in the village to show up, learn more about it and contribute,” Uffman said.
Uffman said that proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to activate the program.
“This is our big jump to try to get some money together so we can start,” she said. “There are expenses to do anything, and if we don’t have money in the bank, we can’t put our energies into getting this off the ground.”