Almost 200 guests were welcomed aboard Golden Era Productions replica clipper ship the “Star of California” Saturday, Sept. 28, in San Jacinto for a Friends of Valley Restart fundraising event.
This year’s annual event “Cruise through the Inland Passage” featured a buffet dinner prepared by Hemet’s Francisco’s Catering, music by the Golden Era Musicians, silent and live auctions, wine and beer and an open bar to raise funds for the growing Valley Restart Program.
Saturday’s event held some special surprises with Hemet Mayor Bonnie Wright and Mayor Pro Tem Russ Brown singing June and Johnny Cash’s “Goin to Jackson,” classical dinner music by renowned pianist Gabriella Cabrona, vocalist Gio Yepremian and special awards presentations to members of the Valley Restart board and Golden Era Productions, who hosted the event.
The Valley Restart shelter on Menlo Avenue in Hemet has been providing services to the homeless for more than 25 years. Valley Restart grew out of grassroots effort by community and spiritual leaders who wanted to address the issue of homelessness in the area. With hands-on approach, members of many different churches in the community would take turns providing shelter and food to local people in need, especially homeless women and their children.
As the need grew, Valley Restart expanded into its own shelter and was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in 1989.
In 2018, it served 226 people, including 53 families and 130 children, providing employment for their parents and a roof over their heads. The city of Hemet began the Navigator Program by contacting 133 homeless people and housing 34 of them at Valley Restart.
“Cruise through the Inland Passage” is a signature event for the nonprofit to raise funds for their work. While most of the funds raised for the shelter are from local donors and special events, it does receive some funding from Riverside County’s Department of Social Services and Economic Development agencies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
To help Valley Restart continue its efforts donations can be accepted at www.valleyrestart.info, and for shelter program information, call (951) 766-7476. The shelter is located at 200 E. Menlo Ave. in Hemet.
Tony Ault can be reached by email at email@example.com.