The East Main Place Benvenuti’s Dinner and Fundraiser is right around the corner. The agency’s annual event is Oct. 12 at Benvenuti’s, 105 W. Main St.

Ginny Corson, East Main Place executive director, said last year’s fundraiser brought in an estimated $12,000.

“I would love it if we could better that by 25 percent or more,” she said.

Corson said 51 people live at East Main Place.

Within the last year, the agency added six two-bedroom apartments to its list of housing facilities.

“That money is going to help pay bills, keep the lights on and keep residents warm this winter,” she said.

The funds also cover maintenance costs at EMP housing facilities. Corson said none of the revenue will be used for staff salaries.

East Main Place was founded in 1992, Corson said. She was hired as executive director March 1.

Corson said residents may stay at EMP for up to a year. During that time, the staff works with clients to address the issues that lead to them becoming homeless.

“The goal is to find a permanent residence in that year,” she said.

EMP also helps individuals and families address health issues and employment.

The EMP board of directors has organized this year’s fundraiser. Corson said that has allowed her to focus on day-to-day operations.

Krystyn Bramlett serves as vice president of the EMP board. She joined the board of directors three years ago.

Bramlett said University of Oklahoma women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale will appear at the event. Coale will speak to the crowd about a new program, where the basketball team will work with EMP on community service projects.

“We understand that times are hard right now and times are also hard for our organizations,” Bramlett said. “We just need the hope of the community to go into this next year and make it as great as possible.”

According to a release about the upcoming fundraiser, about 90 percent of EMP residents find full-time jobs between three and four months of moving in.

The release stated a former EMP resident also will speak at next Tuesday’s dinner.

Seating for the dinner will open at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will follow at 7.

The menu includes Caesar salad, 6 oz. filet, jumbo shrimp, garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus and bread. A panna cotta with raspberry sauce will be served for dessert.

A vegan meal is available for those who pre-purchase a ticket and specify a need in advance.

Tickets are $100 donation per person, and $75 of the donation is tax deducible. Tickets may be purchased by calling 447-4663.

Meghan McCormick 366-3539 mmccormick@norman-transcript.com

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