Integrated Community holding inaugural fundraiser to raise awareness, celebrate cultures |

Integrated Community holding inaugural fundraiser to raise awareness, celebrate cultures

— With the demand for services on the rise, Integrated Community is holding a fundraiser Saturday to raise awareness about the organization and to celebrate the different cultures that call the Yampa Valley home.

The inaugural Integrated Community Showcase is from 5 to 10 p.m. at Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill Lodge. International dishes will be provided by local restaurants, and there are 35 silent auction items, including a ski pass for the 2013-14 season. There will be live music by Caliente, African drum performances and dancing.

"This is an opportunity for our clients — mainly Latinos and Africans — to access information, to have a fiesta and to feel comfortable in a community event," Integrated Community board member Millie Beall wrote in an email. "We need our local population to come and better understand what we do, how much we need their support and to rub up against a little bit of culture while they are at it."

Many clients will attend the event to share their success stories related to immigrating to Northwest Colorado. Other nonprofits will be providing information at the event, including Partners in Routt County, Advocates Building Peaceful Communities and LIFT-UP of Routt County.

The suggested donation to attend the event is $10.

Integrated Community Executive Director Sheila Henderson said the organization hopes to use the proceeds from the fundraiser to help fund school readiness and youth tutoring programs as well as to fund the increased demand in services. Henderson said the demand for services has increased dramatically in the past four years, and the group served 566 people in 2012.

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Integrated Community has three main programs:

■ It offers interpreter services that often are subsidized. For example, clients pay a $10 copay for medical-related interpreting.

■ It also offers tutoring for adults and children who are learning English.

■ Finally, the organization offers the resource and referral program that helps clients navigate everyday needs such as filing taxes, understanding health care and enrolling children into activities.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email

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