More than 350 participants took off from Wild Bill’s Wings and Bowling at noon Saturday for an afternoon of fun in the Jaycee’s Putt-n-Crawl “Hillbilly Hoe Down” Pub Crawl.
This is the third year that the money raised was donated to Deborah’s Legacy, an effort to help women in need.
Jaycee organizer Tammi Ramsey said they were looking for an organization to support when former Jaycee Keri Fisher approached her.
“She is on the board of directors for Deborah’s Legacy and she talked with us about partnering up,” Ramsey said. “It is a great fit, they are a great help, they bring in sponsors, volunteers, promote the event and help any way they can.”
Ramsey said the two organizations share common goals.
“The Jaycees are here to change our community and what they (Deborah’s Legacy) are doing there for women in their house — they are creating positive changes. And they are faith based and in our Jaycee’s creed it says ‘in God we trust.’”
Deborah’s Legacy provides rent free housing, support and educational opportunities for women faced with homelessness.
Legacy’s residential program provides long-term secure housing as a haven from social, psychological, and economic factors that drive women to desperate means for survival, their website says.
Co-founder Allison Huebner is thankful for the Jaycee’s help.
“They contacted us and asked if they could help us in any way and said they would enjoy doing fundraisers for our organization,” Huebner said.
Huebner said the Jaycees offered the pub crawl, which is their biggest fund-raising event.
“We really don’t see it as a pub crawl. We consider it a celebration of the community that comes together as individuals and businesses to support the cause of women that are facing homelessness,” Huebner said.
She said three years ago the Legacy house was struggling financially and would not have made it without the pub crawl donation.
“Literally it was those funds that kept the doors open,” Huebner said.
Huebner agrees that it is a good partnership and continues to grow. This year participation is at an all-time high.
They have helped about 30 women since the home opened in 2013.
“We are full and have a waiting list,” she said.
Huebner hopes the home can expand in the future.
“A lot of the ladies in our program are trying to get reunification with their children and right now we are not set up to have kids there, so it is kind of like going to grandmas to visit,” she said.
With that in mind, the organization is looking for a location that would allow women to have their children live there too.
Huebner has no words that express her gratitude to the community.
“’Amazed’ would be inadequate,” she said. “It is truly amazing that our area realizes this was a need, not just the city, but for all of western Nebraska.”
She believes that more people have realized that their group is truly about empowering women, and not just recovery from addictions or abuse.
She wants to empower women throughout the community “so they can be a voice in any situation.”
Ramsey said last year’s pub crawl generated around $8,700, with more participants this year. Money comes from team entry fees, bar fees to host one hole of golf, as well as donations from corporate sponsors.
“After I take our expenses out, all of the proceeds will go to Deborah’s Legacy,” Ramsey said.
Each of more than 70 teams consisted of four members plus a designated driver. Similar to a poker run, the teams were given a score card with a list of 10 pubs to visit and play one hole of putt-putt golf.
All scorecards had to be filled and turned in by 5:45 p.m., with prizes for the best score, best dressed team and best dressed individual.
Ramsey said they select a different theme each year. The first year was “the 80s” followed by “super heroes and villains,” and then “the roaring 20s.”
“This year we chose “hillbilly hoe down” and people came out of the woodwork in all kinds of costumes,” she said.
Huebner said publicity from these events has been the catalyst for Deborah’s Legacy’s growth.