HELENA — Dozens of volunteers came to the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds Friday, to prepare the Exhibit Hall to host Florence Crittenton’s “Paint the Town Pink” gala.
The annual fundraiser will be held Saturday evening. It will feature food, live music and dancing, live and silent auctions and raffles.
This is the 18th year of Paint the Town Pink, which raises money for Florence Crittenton’s programs serving pregnant women and families.
On Friday, leaders estimated almost 100 volunteers were helping set up for the gala. They filled the hall with elaborate decorations, aimed at giving it the event an elegant flair.
“That’s really the most amazing part,” said Carrie Krepps, Florence Crittenton’s executive director. “I’m going to liken the building to our clients – our clients are a blank slate and there’s some transformation that happens, and I think that’s such a great analogy for what we do with this building and with this event. It really is transformative.”
Paint the Town Pink brings in about 30% of the organization’s fundraising budget each year. Krepps said they are hoping to raise around $200,000 through the event.
However, leaders say the biggest benefit is not the money, but the increased awareness of the work they do.
“My hope is always that people walk out of here feeling like they have a little better idea of what some of the other members of their community are going through,” Krepps said. “We get a lot of people coming in to volunteer, and a lot of long-term partnerships come from people even just being in this room.”
Florence Crittenton offers a variety of services, including residential, outpatient, community and early childhood programs. In recent years, the organization has put more emphasis on addressing substance abuse, mental health and trauma.
Krepps said the money they raise helps with things like offering scholarships for their child care programs and letting families stay longer in their residential programs.
“The community supporting this is what allows us to do the magic – for our staff to be the magic in these people’s lives,” she said.
You can find out more about Florence Crittenton at the organization’s website.