HELENA — One of Helena’s largest and longest running parties has been canceled for early next year due to COVID concerns.
Florence Crittenton announced they won’t be holding their annual gala fundraiser “Paint the Town Pink” in 2021.
“We had to make a very difficult decision,” said Development Director Heather Greene. “While we recognize it’s a very prominent community event we just don’t feel good about hosting a live, in-person event as COVID numbers continue to climb.”
Greene added a large part of the event is only possible through donations from partner organizations. During COVID the non-profit says it didn’t feel right to ask from businesses that may be in need themselves.
Florence Crittenton provides shelter and supportive services to mothers under the age of 21 and their children, mental health services, substance use recovery, parenting education, childcare and preschool and more.
The non-profit only sees their clients for a snapshot in their lives. They don’t provide all of the answers and can’t solve every societal problem their clients may face, but they can provide a foundation for those families that a better future can be built upon.
Organizers said it wasn’t an easy decision to make, given Paint the Town Pink is a significant part of their yearly budget.
“It raises about $250,000 a year, which is about 25-30 percent of our budget,” said Greene. “So we’ll be reaching out in other ways to recoup that.”
There will be an alternative fundraising campaign to replace the event, with more information in the near future.
Florence Crittenton, much like other social services, has seen an increase in need during the pandemic.
“As many human services organizations are seeing, we’re seeing an increase in the need for services for families and those struggling with mental health challenges, homelessness. Those challenges certainly have not gone away,” said Executive Director Carrie Krepps.
Krepps says COVID has also created additional funding needs in order to provide their services.
“We’re really going to be focusing on talking with our partners about those needs, and make it tangible so they know where their donations are going,” said Krepps.
More information about the services offered by Florence Crittenton and ways to help their mission can be found here.