Seventh annual fundraising luncheon for relief nursery raises $33,295 to benefit local children.

JENNIFFER GRANT - Participants in the MountainStar Relief Nursery's seventh annual banquet included, left to right back row, advisory board members Katherine Brick, Tena Jackson and Beth Ann Beamer, interventionist Lupita Toribio, classroom aide Yazmin Juarez, Program Director Jeanna Darnell, grants manager Diane Fernandez, safety net specialist Nydia Acosta, volunteer coordinator Lucy Belgum, and interventionist Jacqueline Garcia; and front row, left to right: board members Linda Clowers, Roy Jackson and Dr. Bud Beamer, Development Director Kayla Rotunno, Kevin Doner, development associate, and Executive Director Tim Rusk.
At a record-setting fundraiser luncheon May 11, MountainStar Relief Nursery raised a total of $33,295 to benefit local children served by the organization.

"As always, all funds raised in Jefferson County will stay with our Madras center," said Kayla Rotunno, of Bend, development director for the organization, which was formed in 2001 in Deschutes County, but added the local Juniper Junction Relief Nursery as a satellite program in 2013.

"The funds will be put to use in our Therapeutic Early Childhood and Safety Net programs to help keep children safe, support parents, boost healthy development, repair relationships, and more," said Rotunno, adding that together, the group is combating stress.

The seventh annual luncheon, held at the Madras United Methodist Church, brought together advisory board members, staff and supporters, to raise funds. The total includes a $10,000 gift from Kevin and Shauna Hormann, which was a match for the first $10,000 donated by luncheon guests, as well as seven $1,000 gifts, which will also be matched by the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund.

Last year, the program served 98 Jefferson County children, as well as their siblings and caregivers.

Speakers at the event included Madras Mayor Royce Embanks, who served as emcee, Aaron Fisher, and Madras City Councilor Bartt Brick.

Sponsors for the event were Gary Gruner Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, Rotary Club of Jefferson County, KEITH Manufacturing, and Tina's Treats.

"We are so grateful to everyone who helped make this possible," said Rotunno. "We truly could not help vulnerable families the way we do without the support of the Madras community."

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