BEND, Ore. - At a spirited fundraising event Thursday evening, members of the Central Oregon Association of Realtors and the Central Oregon Builders Association united to support Bethlehem Inn’s Transforming Lives Together capital campaign.
The event was held at the Deschutes Brewery Mountain Room.
The evening’s activities included a friendly debate between Carolyn Bostwick, President of COAR, and Jeff Payne, President of COBA, remarks from a former resident of Bethlehem Inn, and a major new announcement of an $800,000 challenge from the Paloma Blanca Foundation. The Foundation is based out of state, but has a local family member who prefers to remain anonymous.
At the conclusion of the event, COBA and COAR members had already combined to contribute approximately $270,000 to the capital campaign. These funds qualify for the $800,000 challenge. The next $530,000 contributed will complete the generous match.
“We are overwhelmed by this incredible support for our campaign to completely rebuild Bethlehem Inn,” said Executive Director Gwenn Wysling. “We commend COBA and COAR for their shared commitment to creating a Central Oregon where everyone has a home, where families in crisis can transition to stability."
Construction has already begun on the Inn’s new 18,100-square-foot Family Residence and Service Hub at the Inn’s current property (3705 N. Highway 97, in Bend). Expected to be completed in June 2018, the new facility will double capacity of the Inn to serve homeless families, replacing a dilapidated five family shelter with room for 10 families at any given time.
“Central Oregon is a place where we truly take care of one another,” said Transforming Lives Together Capital Campaign Chair and event emcee Heather Tennant Salvesen. “Thousands of lives will be transformed because together we are rallying behind a project that will make this community stronger.”