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STEP2 adapting to pandemic, holding annual fundraiser virtually

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 9:50 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -It’s been a challenging year for most non-profits, trying to stay funded while also continuing their mission during this pandemic. But STEP2 has found a way to keep helping those in need.

“The women that come to STEP2 face so many barriers just to get to our doors to begin with,” said Mari Hutchinson, Chief Executive Officer of STEP2. “The last thing we want is Covid to be yet another barrier to keep them out of treatment.”

STEP2, a local addiction treatment facility for women, has implemented new safety guidelines to keep both patients and staff healthy. It includes testing everyone who’s admitted right away. And thanks to their agreement with Renown, they get those results within 24 hours. And a positive test, does not prevent someone from getting help.

“We would not turn her away,” stressed Hutchinson.

Which is so important, considering drug and alcohol abuse is on the rise during this time of social isolation. Instead, a woman would get admitted, and kept in isolation while she gets treatment. It’s an exacting time for everyone involved, and an especially difficult time for someone to take over as the Board of Directors President.

“The staff here, they’re amazing,” said President Brian Cassidy. “And their passion bleeds out into the community. And you just want to help them out.”

Cassidy was named the President back in July, trying to help the non-profit navigate through this unprecedented pandemic. One that has been a strain on funding, but not an impediment on their goal of remodeling the cottages on campus. Three more were recently refurbished by the Builders Association of Northern Nevada.

“It spoke volumes about our Builders and it spoke volumes about their dedication to STEP2,” added Cassidy. “So it’s amazing.”

The Builders, and the local developers, pay for all of the work and supplies themselves. Ryder Homes, Tanamera Construction and Toll Brothers each took charge of one cottage this year. 13 of the 25 cottages have now been remodeled over the last four years.

Another big challenge for STEP2; a lot of their fundraisers have been impacted by the Coronavirus. That includes the upcoming Jingle and Mingle gala. For the first time in twenty years, it’ll be held virtually.

“We plan to still talk about STEP2, share some stories of hope from women who’ve been through our program, and do our silent and live auction. All the things we normally due in our gala,” explained Hutchinson.

The gala costs $50 per ticket. Or you can pay $100 for a VIP experience, which includes food and wine from local restaurants, delivered right to your home.

“We’re benefiting not just our local non-profit, but also local food establishments as well,” added Hutchinson.

The Jungle and Mingle gala is being held at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 4th. Tickets must be purchased by Thanksgiving. You can get more information at the link below.

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