SAFFORD – It’s never too early to get ready for Christmas, especially when it comes to sponsoring a good cause.
It was a blustery day, but the hot dogs were warm and already for sale to benefit Project Luke. Starting at 10 a.m., Friday, the Sunstreet Mortgage employees stood outside in the Safeway Plaza. The money earned by selling the hot dogs went to fund Project Luke. Project Luke is a banquet for needy families. The project includes a banquet dinner, a visit by Santa, stockings, and larger individualized presents for each child.
Sunstreet Mortgage employee Tiffany Faunce arranged with the business to hold the fundraiser for Project Luke. Unlike many fundraisers, however, all of the money earned by selling the hot dogs went directly to Project Luke.
“We started at 10, and we’re planning to go to five o’clock.” Faunce said. “Sunstreet Mortgage bought all the food. Whatever we make goes strictly to Project Luke.”
At the time of the interview with Gila Valley Central, Sunstreet Mortgage had sold roughly 80 hot dogs. At the set price of the hot dogs and chips, the fundraiser earned roughly $200 before the end of the day. Faunce told Gila Valley Central that the money would probably be handed over to the Project Luke directors, letting them decide how to spend the funds.
“I haven’t heard of any other business specifically doing a fundraiser,” Faunce said. “But I know that many have donated and sponsored larger gifts.”
Tina Anderson is the individual in charge of Project Luke, and she told Gila Valley Central that many other businesses and organizations in the community work to benefit the program.
“We have some different organizations and the motorcycle run,” Anderson said. “We have a state prison that’s going to do a fundraiser, that event that took place today, and we just have a lot of different donations come from the community.”
Anderson told Gila Valley Central that the amount of effort and time donated to get Project Luke off the ground is a massive collaborative undertaking by the local community.
“It’s really neat because a lot of the community gets excited about it,” Anderson said. “A lot of our donations come from the community.”
Project Luke has been in existence for 12 years. Each year the project goes to benefit 200 individuals in the community. Every year, the individuals living in the Mt. Graham Safe House are invited, and those without transportation are given assistance to the banquet. The name of the event comes from a parable in Luke.
12) He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14) and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”