Housing nonprofits host joint fundraiser at Foundation Field in Hamilton

BUTLER COUNTY — The Butler County Real Estate Investors Association is hosting its third annual fundraising event Saturday, with half of the proceeds benefiting local organization SELF, a non-profit focused on helping low-income families in the county.

The event — which will feature an 11 a.m. charity auction along with lunch, raffles and activities — will take place at Foundation Field outside Hamilton’s Booker T. Washington Community Center.

Proceeds will be split evenly between BCREIA and Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families.

BCREIA President Nick Gallant, who coordinates his non-profit’s efforts to educate and further develop private housing providers in Butler County, said SELF had an especially strong impact on Butler County residents and his organization’s private landlords in the midst of the pandemic.

“They helped facilitate residents getting caught up with past-due rent, utilities and other items of necessity,” Gallant said, which then allowed more housing providers to keep good, stable tenants who were harmed by COVID’s economic impact.

“It’s an amazing organization that has a variety of programs to help support local residents of limited means,” Gallant said.

This will be the second time SELF has been a beneficiary of BCREIA’s event, according to Rachel Sheets, SELF’s community relations organizer.

“They reached out to us and expressed an interest in supporting SELF,” Sheets said. “We were just kind of blown away at the donation we received from them, because we didn’t have to do a whole lot of work for it.”

Last year, SELF received $950 of the evenly-split proceeds, though that event was private.

This will be the first time the event has been open to the public. Previously, only BCREIA members took part in the charity auction.

Sheets said that money can go a long way for Butler County families who receive their help through the organization’s 10 different self-sufficiency programs, like their “Neighbors Who Care” program, which enlists volunteers to work on home repairs or mobility projects.

“$950 could potentially get two wheelchair ramps built for Butler County homeowners who need those mobility improvements made to their home,” Sheets said.

Items for the auction have all been donated by Butler County businesses and individuals and sponsorship for the fundraising event has grown significantly over the past year, Gallant said.

For BCREIA, Gallant said his organization will “... use the proceeds for continued education to ensure housing providers are knowledgeable, ethical and supportive.”

Gallant and Sheets both hope that making the event public will bring more people out to enjoy the day’s activities and take part in fundraising.

“We really want this to be a greatly attended event,” Gallant said.

“It’s going to be a beautiful day and there’s a baseball game later that day at that same ball field, so we’re hoping to just make it an awesome afternoon,” Sheets said.

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