The Help Center close to breaking ground

With the sale of Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits nearly complete, the Help Center, Inc. is close to breaking ground for a new facility. The sale of $350,000 in NAP tax credits will result in $500,000 for the new food pantry and warehouse. That amount, along with several grants, has formed the financial base for the 1.1 million building.
There are several grant requests outstanding which could bring in more funds. Now, however, the shift in fundraising moves to individual donations from community members.
The new Help Center will be constructed at the intersection of Fairground and West Liberty streets. A sign designating the site was recently installed.
The nearly-15,000 square foot structure will house a food pantry and thrift store, along with a large warehouse. The facility will become a regional distribution site for the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.
Plans are also underway for a fundraiser Friday, July 11, called "Cardinals and Crawfish." The event will take place on a closed-off area in the 100 block of south Washington street, between Jackson and Promenade streets. The tickets for the events are $15 in advance, with all proceeds going to the Help Center building fund.
"We encourage all of you to come out and enjoy an evening with us," Cameron Oliver, chairman of the event, said. "This is an opportunity for everyone to support a great cause for our community, and we look forward to seeing everyone there."
Tickets also will be available at the event, for $20 each. The food preparation and cooking will be done and donated by Nick Steinman of Steinman Banquet Hall. The menu will include an endless pot of crawfish, corn on the cob, potatoes and cornbread, butter and garlic, plus lemonade, iced tea, coffee or water. For an extra $5, guests may switch crawfish for shrimp.
Seating will be by table, with the first seating at 5:30, continuing every 10 minutes until 7 p.m. Serving will begin as soon as an entire table is seated. A table, for 10 guests, can be purchased for $120, which is a 20 percent discount on individual tickets.
Adult beverages will be available for purchase at Wine on Washington, and can be taken outside to be consumed with the meal.
At 7 p.m., members of the Help Center and Audrain Food Bank Advisory boards will make a short presentation about the new building. At this time there will be several door prizes awarded. Then, the St. Louis Cardinals game vs. the Milwaukee Brewers will be projected on a large screen for viewing.
Tickets went on sale June 23, at the Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce, or are available by contacting Oliver, or Daniel Norman at 581-8330.
Other committee members are Jordyn Christiansen, Mitchell Christiansen, Aimee Cope, Sam Cope, Kent Groves, Tina Glover, and Kara Norman.