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Havre Beneath the Streets fundraiser meets the Roaring '20s


April 23, 2019

Havre Daily News/Ryan Berry

A room underneath the Second Avenue sidewalk remains unused Monday at Havre Beneath the Streets due to water leaks. Beneath the Streets is hosting a fundraiser Friday to be able to replace the sidewalk above the room and repair water damage.

Havre Beneath the Streets is holding a fundraiser with a 100-year-old theme Friday at the Havre Eagles Club, seeking help repairing damage to its popular historical tourist attraction.

"I am looking forward to seeing our community come together for such a great event and sponsoring our little treasure we have here," Havre Beneath the Streets Office Manager Christy Owens said.

Beneath the Streets, which displays items from historical Havre businesses in the basements and tunnels beneath the 200 Block of First Street, first noticed leaking about a year ago.

The water leaks were through cracks in the foundation and from glass blocks in the sidewalk on the 200 Block of First Street. The glass blocks, now purpled with age, were put in the concrete to transmit light into the underground.

Water came into the mercantile, post office and the auto shop rooms. Havre Beneath the Streets later made the decision to close the rooms and take the artifacts out to prevent further water damage. A few of the artifacts had already been damaged and will take time to repair. Repairing the leak will be the most expensive repair the organization will have had since cleaning and repairing the underground to create the Beneath the Streets exhibits, which started in the 1990s.

Earlier this year, Beneath the Streets was informed it is eligible to apply for a state tourism grant, which requires a $1 match for every $2 awarded.

"We are still moving forward with the grant," Owens said, adding that the grant applications open in July and will close in September of this year.

Friday will be the first fundraiser to raise money for matching funds as well as the first fundraiser Beneath the Streets has had since it was first created, she said.

"That will be one thing that is new to us," Owens said. "We've been self-sufficient with our ticket sales in being able to keep the doors open year-round, and this is, basically, our first time reaching out and raising funds."

Friday's fundraiser will be "Roaring '20s" themed, and will have a prime rib and shrimp dinner provided by the Eagles Club, a no-host bar, a silent auction, a 50/50 basket raffle, games and a photo booth, she said. The no-host bar will open at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Owens said that the event will end at 9 or 10 p.m., depending on how much fun everyone is having.

Tickets for the event are $35 and can be purchased at the Havre Beneath the Streets office at 120 Third Ave., which is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as at the door of the event, she added.

Owens said that she recommends people purchase their tickets ahead of time because of the limited space. They have already sold 125 of the 250 tickets available.

"We're inviting people to come with their flapper dresses or zoot suits or come as you are," she said, adding that a few people have already told her they have their costumes ready.

She said that the event will also have a free police mugshot-themed photo booth, where people can take their pictures and share on their social media.

"It's just great to see our small community kind of coming together and supporting another fellow local business," she said.

Owens said a number of local businesses and individuals donated items for the silent auction and raffle. She added that some of the people donated hand-crafted items to be auctioned off.

"We are pretty excited about that," she said.

They have collected between 30 to 50 different items for the raffle, she said, and people can still donate items through Wednesday.

"Thank you to the community so far for being supportive with this event," she said. "The folks I have talked to about donations have been wonderful."

Friday's fundraiser is a kick-off event for the overall fundraising they will be doing in the following months, she said. She added that they are currently planning future fundraisers.

People can also donate to the sidewalk fund at the Eagles Club, at Havre Beneath the Streets' office or at Bear Paw Credit Union.

With the Bear Paw Credit Union Sidewalk Fund for Havre Beneath the Streets, people can either put their names on as a memo or remain anonymous. If people want a receipt for tax purposes they need to ask their teller.

Owens said she is excited about Friday's event and hopes to sell all the tickets.

"It will be fun," she said.


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