Friday, Jul. 06, 2012
New Bethany benefit gets new name, focus
By Corey Pride / firstname.lastname@example.org
LOS BANOS New Bethany Guild held its 13th annual fundraiser Saturday, billing it as Summer Soiree on New Bethany Square.
The benefit, held at the New Bethany Residential and Skilled Nursing facility, used to be called Marketplace on New Bethany Square.
Carol Etcheverry, one of the co-organizers of the Soiree, said the event was scaled back to only include secret scratch-offs, a bake sale and a high-end raffle. She said the marketplace, where various items are sold in makeshift "stores" on the property, was scrapped because it had become too labor-intensive.
The Soiree focused mainly on eating and mingling.
"Of course, this is a fundraiser but we want everybody to have a really great time," Etcheverry said.
Although the New Bethany Guild did not set a dollar amount it would like to raise, Etcheverry said all the money will go toward providing bedding for residents at the facility. The event attracted more than 200 people.
España's Southwest Bar & Grill, Eddie's Cafe in Los Banos and Fernando's Bistro from Merced provided the food.
"I think New Bethany is a really important component of this community," said retired San Francisco Superior Court Judge Tomar Mason, who attended the event with her father. "There's a lot of aspects to New Bethany. We've got to support operations."
Joel Whitehurst said the facility is "the finest retirement and rest home I've seen in my whole life." Whitehurst said he does everything he can to support the facility.
Many of the people who came to support New Bethany left with prizes. Scratch-off winners received gift certificates for everything from dinners at local restaurants to spa treatments; most raffle items were valued at above $200. Gift baskets were also sold at the event.