Ugly Sweater/Tie Party raises funds for homeless shelter

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By Barry Matulaitis, Editor

FARMINGTON — For the second year in a row, the Dugout Bar and Grill hosted the Ugly Sweater/Tie Party.

This year, the Western Maine Homeless Outreach (WMHO) was the recipient of the proceeds. A total of $3,350 was raised at the party, and Key Bank provided a match to bring the total to $6,700.

Rachel Jackson Hodsdon, the board president of WMHO, credited Bobbie Jo Mealey and Danielle Flannery, WMHO board members, for coming up with the idea. People came to the Dugout and purchased a $20 ticket. Owner Shawn Riggs gave half back to party goers to purchase food and drink.

Each participant was then entered in the Best Sweater/Tie Contest. Everyone could vote for the sweater/tie they liked the best by placing $1 in the bag of the person whose attire they liked best. All the money placed in these bags was given to WMHO.

Organizers kept the fun going by raffling off a wide range of door prizes.

“Some of the door prizes were awesome, some not so awesome,” said Jackson Hodsdon. “The dud prize was the Holiday decorated dust pan. It was a fun evening of socializing and eating great food all for a good cause.”

Local businesses who donated prizes included: Devaney, Doak and Garrett Bookstore, a $15 gift certificate; The Woodsman Restaurant, a $10 gift certificate; Randy Cousineau, a $75 landscaping gift certificate; The Homestead, a $25 gift card; Ruth Mealey, 1 digital scrapbook; White’s Ford, a hat and mug; Northern Lights, a water bottle and winter hat; and Everyday Music, guitar strings.

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(Courtesy photo)

The recipient of the “dud” prize at the Ugly/Sweater Tie Party, which this year benefited Western Maine Homeless Outreach.

Western Maine Homeless Outreach operates a shelter that serves individuals and families who are homeless. It provides them with a warm place to sleep, access to kitchen facilities so meals can be prepared, and case management that links guests to services in an effort to end their homelessness.

Jackson Hodsdon said that the current goal is to raise funds so the shelter can stay open during the day in the winter months.

“Being open during the day will make it so guests don’t have to search for a warm, safe place to stay during the day,” she said. “It will also provide an opportunity for them to take classes offered at the shelter, which will help improve guests’ life skills. WMHO’s mission is to strengthen families so they can become self-sustaining.”

Donations can be made by mailing a check to WMHO, P.O. Box 830, Farmington, ME 04938 or by going to Western Maine Homeless Outreach’s Facebook page and making a donation through Fundly. For volunteer opportunities, email westernmainehomeless@gmail.com or call 779-7609.

Jackson Hodsdon said the aim is to have a fundraiser every three months. A meeting will be held in January, 2015 to plan the next event. Those interested in serving on the Fundraising Committee can contact WMHO at the phone number or e-mail listed above.

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(Courtesy photo)

Some of the participants at the Ugly Sweater Party.

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