Planning an outdoor event can be a risk in Salem. At any moment the sky could open up and rain on your buffet. However, luck was on the side of St. Francis Shelter, at its Saddle Up for St. Francis event Sept. 13 at Crystal Springs Ranch. We enjoyed one of the last nice days of the season.
We dug out our boots and giddy’d-up to a social to benefit St. Francis Shelter, which provides temporary housing and assistance to about 50 families in our community, with a goal to move toward permanent housing.
We had a big welcome from greeters Larry Davis, Marcia Hutchins, Jayne Downing and Kathleen Callero. Executive Director Kim Lemman introduced me to William Barnes who provided me some high quality photos for this article. Sofia Blanco-Mills, Kelly Mills, Paul Camuso and Megan Cogswell and I talked about the start of school.
We toured around the ranch and saw some historic coaches, cool statues and horses. One took a liking to Kristan Mitchell. We listened to the Jenny Sizzle Band and enjoyed a signature margarita in a jar. Wes Helmer and Elesa Doll got into the spirit in western wear.
Food was delicious, catered by the Wooden Nickel. I was seated at a rowdy table that included Lisa Joyce, Ellen Brittingham, Karen Kimball and board member, Diana Ramallo. Other leaders I saw there included Marilyn Boman, treasurer and board member Brena Lopez.
Since 1987, St. Francis Shelter has serve Marion and Polk Counties by providing temporary housing for homeless families with children. In 2014, St. Francis provided temporary housing and professional case management to 47 families, which included 112 children.92% of those families have transitioned into, and remain in, permanent housing. To contact, volunteer or donate to St. Francis Shelter: St. Francis Shelter call (503) 588-0428 or http://www.sfssalem.org.