Fundraiser aims to help Clovis family

Alisa Boswell: Portales News-Tribune Andrew Brunk moves window frames at the Habitat for Humanity Restore Friday afternoon in Portales. The Restore is one of the many ways Habitat raises in money and materials for houses along with events such as Oktober-Feast, which is being held today at First United Methodist in Portales.

Alisa Boswell

Funds from the third annual Oktober-Feast fundraiser will help build a new home for a Clovis family in a dire living situation, according to Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Joyce Davis.

Davis said the next family on the Habitat for Humanity waiting list is sleeping on the floor at their current home because of nighttime neighborhood shootings.

“It is our goal to eliminate poverty housing, but it is expensive to build homes, so we need a lot of help,” Davis said. “All of our fundraisers are for building somebody a home.”

Anyone in the mood for some German culture can come to United Methodist Church in Portales from 5 to 8 p.m. today for a bratwurst dinner with musical entertainment and a silent auction.

The original inspiration for this bratwurst fundraiser came from Habitat board member Joe Parie, whose homemade recipe continues to be used at the event.

“I was a food service sergeant in the Army, so serving food and stuff is enjoyable to me,” Parie said. “We used to do everything from scratch, butcher our own hogs and everything. We have them made commercially to our recipe now.”

Parie said he’s been using his bratwurst recipe as a means of fundraising for Habitat for many years, having done brat fundraisers for mission trips to Mexico, Haiti and more.

“Since they’re my brats, they’re my pride and joy,” Parie said. “Food’s my thing, so I enjoy doing this. And it’s always fun to do fundraisers for mission trips and homes and things.”

Davis said even more people attended the event last year than the first year, so she has hopes of the event growing more this year.

“We were pleased. I don’t think we served 200 the first year, but we probably served that many or more last year,” Davis said. “We are working at there being more people this year too. We anticipate that it will grow every year as people learn about it.”

Davis said items in the silent auction, which entails people writing their bids on sheets of paper next to the items, includes a variety of items, such as a grill, a charcoal broiler, antique glassware, a Thomas Kinkade painting (“Hyde Street at the Bay”), an internal hard drive upgrade kit, a garden fountain and more.

“It’s really a lot of fun,” Davis said. “Someone will bid on it and someone else will come and up it a little then someone after them will up it a little more, so it’s kind of a fun thing to do.”

Davis said Oktober-Feast raised several hundred more last year than the previous year, going from roughly $1,000 in 2009 to roughly $1,800 in 2010.

“This is an effort of the board of directors but we have many volunteers helping us,” Davis said. “This is one of our big efforts to raise money for houses every year and it takes a lot of people to make it happen. We are grateful to those who help make it happen and those who come eat with us.”