U Care Inc. is looking forward to a fundraiser and supporters sharing a belief that “love doesn’t have to hurt.”
The Reverse Drawing for $5,000 — an annual tradition for the organization, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, at the Sampson County Exposition Center’s Prestage Hall, 414 Warsaw Road, Clinton. Tickets are $100 and only 299 will be sold. Each ticket comes with a dine-in-only dinner for two, prepared by Meadow Restaurant and one ticket for a cash drawing. Proceeds will benefit the domestic violence program, which provides help to hundreds of victims and families each year.
U Care Director Pamela Gonzalez is looking forward to the event and believes it’s a good time to host it near Valentine’s Day. She said it also falls in between Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October and Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.
“It’s when people should be thinking about how much they love each other and appreciate each other,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a really good time after the holidays for people to take a moment and recenter themselves and get backed focused on their relationship with their loved ones.”
Gonzalez added that couple use the event as a pre-Valentine’s Day outing and provides them with an opportunity to learn about services offered by U Care, Inc. such as crisis intervention, abuse treatment and sexual assault and rape prevention.
“It’s a good time for them to visit and fellowship with people that they don’t always get to see,” she said about community members coming together for a good cause.
U Care officials described the event as “reverse bingo.” Tickets are placed on a board and removed when a name is called. Chances to purchase the 300th ticket are being sold for $5. It will be put in a cage with the last nine tickets to become a part of the final 10.
If participants are unlucky with winning the big $5,000 cash prize they will have other opportunities to take home some prizes. Attendees who donate canned goods or toiletries during the event will be entered into a separate drawing for $100. The event also includes a silent auction and door prizes for every 25th ticket holder present. Some of the silent auction items include whole cakes, work from local artists, gift cards and gifts from area businesses. Another prize include a pontoon boat ride through the intercoastal waterway and locations such as Jordan Lake and the Cape Fear River.
The event also includes a penny social. Sheets of penny social tickets with 26 chances to win are being sold for $20.
Each year, Gonzalez and U Care staff members appreciate the financial support, which goes towards improving the program. One of the largest parts is providing shelter for victims during emergency situations. Funds will help with facility maintenance matters such as air conditioning, heat, repairs and plumbing.
“There’s always a constant need for something,” Gonzalez said. “Those are needs that come up and we don’t have a cash flow that covers all of that. We have no way of predicting the future.”
Gonzalez emphasized that Reverse Drawing ticket purchasers are not required to be present. Tax-deductible donations are also accepted throughout the year for U Care and its The Beehive Thrift Store. Volunteers are also welcomed.
For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, contact Gonzalez at 910-596-0931. U Care Inc. can be accessed through Facebook by typing “U Care Inc.” in the search bar or by visiting www.ucaredv.org.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.