By Tim Leeds 

Tacos and Tunes set to help victims of violence

HRDC event set for Saturday in Town Square


District 4 Human Resources Development Council is offering people tacos, music and some giveaways to help it buy a pickup truck to help its Domestic Abuse Program help victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Mackenzie Zubatch, manager of the Domestic Abuse Program's shelter, said many victims of domestic and sexual abuse end up in a situation where they can't ask family and friends to help them get out of situations and relocate.

"We kind of become their support system," she said.

The program receives many donations, both for people to use while in the shelter, and for when they move to a new residence, and the program staff members want a pickup to haul those items, she said.

To help buy the truck, HRDC is holding Tacos and Tunes Saturday in Havre's Town Square, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

The event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with tickets costing $25. People must be 21 or older to attend.

HRDC Administration Officer Cassy Springer said The Nick Crawford Band of Valier will be performing, Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant will have a taco bar set up and Vic's Place will have a cash bar.

Raffle drawings and a 50/50 drawing will be held, and just buying the ticket will enter people into prize drawings.

She added a variety of prizes have been donated for the drawings, including kayaks, a barbecue grill, season parking for Montana State University-Northern football and artwork from local artists.

She said people, businesses and organizations have been extremely generous with cash and item donations.

"I think it shows how much people believe in the cause," she said, adding most everyone has experienced or knows someone who has experienced violence.

"It hits close to home for more people than you think," she said.

This is one of the first fundraisers HRDC has ever held, and the staff decided to make it so that just buying a ticket entered people into drawings rather than holding live or silent auctions and a large number of raffles. That will let people enjoy the music, food and companionship instead of participating in auctions and so on, she said.

They also decided people need not be present to win because, with the three-county area they serve, Blaine, Hill and Liberty counties, people might not be able to come to Tacos and Tunes but would still like to support the cause and maybe win some prizes.

Tickets for the event are available at the HRDC Building at 2229 Fifth Avenue and at Vic's Place, and people can call HRDC at 265-6743 to ask for tickets.

Springer said HRDC staff hopes to make the fundraiser an annual event, selecting a program each year to help fund.

The pickup will be very helpful in helping victims because many donations come in year-round, ranging from toiletries to clothes to furniture.

"We love toiletries," Zubatch said, adding that the program has received many donated beds lately, as well.

"We love that," she said.

The program helps get people out of abusive, domestic situations, putting them in the shelter as needed and helping them to transition to new residences. Last year, 68 people stayed in the shelter.

Springer said the people they help aren't just the the people receiving the abuse, but often also are their children.

Zubatch said part of what the program does is provide child care so the adult can get out to look for work or a place to stay.

"I think that's one of my favorite things is seeing the kids so happy in the shelter," she added.


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