Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development hosts “Fun” Raiser

MEND welcomes the community to The Venue at Lenola on April 1 to enjoy food, entertainment.

Special to The Sun: The Venue at Lenola in Moorestown will host a “Fun” Raiser for Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development (MEND) on April 1 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development (MEND) is hosting its annual “Fun” Raiser on April 1 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at The Venue at Lenola.

There will be food from Cathy’s Catering, an open bar, a silent auction, door prizes and live entertainment provided by The David Christopher Band.

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Local breweries and wineries such as Double Nickel Brewery, Dr. Brewlittle’s Beer, The Valenzano Family Winery and Versi Vino will provide beer and wine tasting.

“(We’re) looking at this as an opportunity for individuals to come out for a relaxing evening,” said Eileen Wirth, president and CEO of MEND. 

Wirth cited how MEND, a non-profit housing development organization, was founded in 1969 by nine community churches in Moorestown.

“The whole mission of the organization is to provide affordable housing options in the Moorestown area,” she said.

Since its inception, MEND has expanded throughout Burlington County and within Moorestown and Delanco there are around 250 affordable homes for both families and seniors.

“We have five multi-unit apartment complexes ranging from 36 units to 104 units for families and elderly, disabled (people). That brings our total unit count to about 600 affordable homes in the Burlington County area,” Wirth said.

MEND’s last in-person event was for its 50th anniversary in the fall of 2019 and Wirth is looking forward to seeing residents come together again.

“(It’s) just a chance to get out and mix and mingle a little bit and maybe reconnect with some folks that maybe they haven’t seen in a while because everyone’s been staying safe.”

Funds raised from the evening will support MEND’s housing initiatives and help ease the costs for current and future residents who cannot afford other important necessities such as food, clothing and health care.

Wirth cited the difficulties that COVID brought for MEND’s residents.

“Some of our residents did encounter some financial challenges,” Wirth said. 

“We were able to give them support because we want to keep families and individuals in their homes, so we did what we could and this type of fundraiser will help us to continue to provide those types of support and services to the individuals in our homes.”

Tickets are $100 per person and include a door prize ticket. This year’s sponsors are Dietz & Watson, Garrison Architects and Dr. Lucy Rorke-Adams.

Wirth is excited to meet Moorestown’s residents on April 1.

“Really to make face-to-face, in-person connections, not only with those directly affiliated with MEND, but those in the community that have supported MEND and continue to support MEND,” she said. “There’s something missing from a virtual connection that you just can’t get when you’re face-to-face, in-person.”

RSVPs are required by March 21 and for more information, please call (856) 772-7070 ext. 19 or email info@mendinc.org or visit https://mendinc.org/events/annual-gala/.

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