Golden Arrow Center plans fund-raising dinner Oct. 19

The Golden Arrow Center, a ministry of St. Martin of Tours Church, is planning a fund-raising dinner to support its work with mothers and children. The center, which is operated solely by volunteers, also hopes to attract more helpers.

The Golden Arrow Center provides clothing, baby gear, baby food, formula, diapers and toys to mothers and their children through age 6.

It serves about 150 families each month, including about 350 children, according to the charity’s volunteer director Emily Nolan.

She said the center, which was established in 1997, has one major challenge: It’s well-known, but not by those who can help.

“All of the social service agencies know about us,” Nolan said, noting that many of them send mothers to the center for assistance. “But donors don’t know about us.”

She hopes the benefit dinner, set for Oct. 19, will help change that.

The fund raiser will be at 5 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 4801 Progress Blvd. The theme of the evening will be “Autumn in Tuscany” and includes an Italian meal, silent and live auctions and a raffle.

Tickets are $25 per person or $200 for a table of eight.

In addition, Nolan said the center, which was recently renovated, is always in need of volunteers to help sort donations and operate the center.

The center needs three volunteers to operate it when it’s open to the public. Its hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon.

Nolan said that if there were more volunteers, the center could extend its hours to better serve clients.

“Most of our mothers are what I call working poor,” Nolan said. “We run the gamut, though. I have some (clients) who have been to college and work but have trouble making ends meet.”

The center offers incentives — extra help — to mothers who agree to do certain things, such as attending doctors appointments and parenting classes, cooking classes or high school equivalency degree courses.

For more information about the center, to volunteer or to purchase tickets for the dinner, call Nolan at 550-5584 or the St. Martin rectory at 582-2827.

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