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Christian Help brings back annual fundraiser after two-year hiatus

MORGANTOWN — What do you get when you cross grass skirts with grass roots?

A chance to Hula up some moolah.

That’s exactly what Christian Help hopes to do Saturday (April 23) as it shakes off the forced isolation of pandemic precautions with a luau party at Dockside Grille.

This will be the first time in three years the nonprofit has been able to hold its annual fundraiser — an event that typically nets about $40,000.

“The fundraiser allows Christian Help to utilize unrestricted funds to maintain the operations. We have a lot of support for specific programs, but this lets us fill in the gaps for what needs to be taken care of for either developing programs and new initiatives or maintaining the building and personnel that help do it,” Executive Director Colleen Lankford explained.

The last two years have been unlike any the organization has seen in its nearly 50 years serving the Morgantown community.

“Just like everybody else, we had to figure out a different way to do what business requires,” Lankford said.

One of those different ways was the pursuit of additional grant dollars. Another was building relationships with new local partners, which Lankford identified as the silver lining to the COVID cloud.

“Clearly, Christian Help is valued by the community and we appreciate that support. Otherwise, we may not have been able to do what we’ve done, and that’s continue to help a lot of our neighbors,” she said.

And that calls for a celebration.

Not a stuffy, formal dinner, but a casual evening of music, food and dancing on the water with a philanthropic focus all the way around.

“While we remained open during the entire pandemic, we had to sit by and watch a lot of our small businesses close, so we’ve made a concerted effort to focus on local artisans and experiences,” Lankford said of the various raffle and auction items up for grabs.

The mask-optional, indoor/outdoor event will run from 3 p.m.- 8 p.m. and include live music banged out by Steel Groovin’.

Tickets are $50 and $25 for children under 12 and can be purchased at Guests have the choice to dress casual or embrace the luau theme.

“I know there’s a lot going on that day, but hopefully, sometime during that five-hour period, people can come join us for a quality meal and some good times,” Lankford said.

Christian Help provides a number of services, ranging from rent/mortgage/utility assistance to a free clothing/housewares store and food pantry as well as life skill classes focusing on issues like nutrition, personal finance and job readiness.

Additional information is available at