Precious Lamb Preschool first started serving homeless children in 2002, with one small classroom.
Today, there are several classrooms and youngsters from toddlers on up to prekindergarten are served while their parents go through rehab, workforce training and job searches. Supported by churches, longtime donors and more, the curriculum is faith-based, but no one is turned away.
That growth in service has required growth in fundraising, and Precious Lamb's annual gala has become a major event, raising six figures each year. Until, like every other nonprofit around, 2020 forced cancellation of the big night.
Only not completely.
As some other nonprofits have done, Precious Lamb is taking its gala online this year. And there is no ticket to buy.
Precious Lamb's party will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22. The live event will include stories from staff, testimonials from the parents of children and some news about the organization as well.
People are asked to register in advance to receive a link to watch the event live. Also, people can get a bid number so they can be recognized during the Live Ask portion of the party overseen by Randy Gordon, auctioneer extraordinaire and Precious Lamb board president — it is a fundraiser, after all.
"The registration also makes people eligible for door prizes and a raffle drawing for a Christmas Duffy cruise, dinner, drinks, special Christmas goodies, and gift certificates to spend all over town, with winning numbers pulled throughout the program," Erin Wilson, Precious Lamb development director, said in an email.
For those missing the gala dinner, takeout can be ordered from George's Greek Cafe at the special "Precious Lamb Gala" price. Go to georgesgreekcafe.com to order.
Sponsorships still are being accepted as well. The levels range from $500 for a bronze sponsorship to $10,000 to become a title sponsor. All sponsors are recognized on the website and during the event.
To find out more about Precious Lamb, go to www.preciouslamb.org. To register for the virtual gala, go to aesbid.co/ELP/PLSGALA20/Tickets.