PORT ANGELES — Clallam Mosaic hosted its latest annual fundraiser in style to raise $25,000 for the organization.
The nonprofit that works with vulnerable and special-needs adults held the Mosaic Masquerade fundraiser at the Naval Elks Lodge in Port Angeles on Oct. 26.
“Individuals with special needs are worth investing both time, attention and money in,” Mosaic Program Coordinator Catherine McKinney said at the fundraiser.
“If we open doors for them as a community, it improves life for all of us.
“No one should have to sit at home and call it good, which many of these people might have to without something like Mosaic.”
The nonprofit provides day classes and other programs and services, and works with people who live on a fixed income.
McKinney noted during the event that most of the Mosaic participants live on a fixed Social Security income of about $740 a month, and with increasing rental costs in the region, that leaves little money available for programs such as Mosaic.
The organization puts many of its participants on scholarships.
Mosaic Executive Director Priya Jayadev was clear about how great the need was for Mosaic to receive as much funding as possible.
“Our day programs run on a net loss,” she said during the event. “Between rent, teacher pay, the costs of curriculum and the materials, it costs a lot more than we can reasonably charge our participants.”
At the Mosaic Masquerade, guests were invited to wear costumes appropriate to the event, which had a “Phantom of the Opera” theme. For those who did not bring masks themselves, masks decorated by Mosaic’s participants were available at each table to borrow for the evening.
The fundraiser included dinner, a silent auction, a live auction and musical performances from the Olympic Peninsula Men’s Choir and Mark Lorentzen, as well as a Fund-A-Need donation portion of the evening where attendees could donate directly to support specific Mosaic needs.
The group’s scholarship fund received $1,500 in donations while other areas of need, such as program and curriculum supplies, technology and the organization’s fund to pay for its rental space and try to secure its own building, all met or exceeded funding requests.
Anime Kat owner Drew Schwab was given a certificate of recognition for his support of the Mosaic community through his work at his Port Angeles game and comic store — a popular destination for a number of the organization’s participants.
The auctioneer for the evening was a special treat: local historical re-enactor Vern Frykholm, in character for the evening as George Washington.
“I’ve supported [Mosaic] for many years,” Frykholm said. “It’s inspiring to be around people who give to others like [they do].”
Mosaic Board of Directors President Randy Brackett, father of one of the organization’s participants, has long seen the value of groups like it.
“[Mosaic participants] are great people with unmet needs,” Brackett said. “We can enhance their lives in ways that they need.”
He noted that Mosaic is always in need of more volunteers, and are actively seeking additional board members who can help engage the wider community to better support the organization.
“National statistics suggest there’s probably 1,200 people in Clallam County who could use our services,” Brackett said.
“Right now we’re not helping nearly as many of them as we want to, so we want to be able to grow to meet their needs as well.”
For more information on Clallam Mosaic, visit www.clallammosaic.org.
Conor Dowley is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].