Fund-raiser slated for 24-hour nursery |

Fund-raiser slated for 24-hour nursery

The drive to create a 24-hour nursery for children of parents in crisis is slowly gathering steam as the Grass Valley chapter of Soroptimist International prepares to hold a major fund-raising event Saturday.

The “KARE Affair,” scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, includes dinner, dancing and an art auction.

The event is one of the first major public events to raise funds and awareness for Nevada County’s first shelter for children whose parents are temporarily unable to care for them.

Services serving children up to 6 years old would be free and available for as many as 30 consecutive days, said Fran Freedle, project manager for the Crisis KARE (Kids Assistance and Respite in Emergencies) Nursery for Nevada County. The facility would house as many as 100 children a year, she said.

“We plan to serve all children. We won’t turn anyone away. We know this is a substantial benefit to families with young children,” she said.

Freedle said the nonprofit has raised $150,884 since January 2001. The organization, which includes doctors and child-care professionals as part of its advisory board, needs about three times that much to purchase a home and begin operating by its 2003 target date.

“The reality is, we have families we could send to the shelter today,” Freedle said, noting that the county’s child abuse rate of 92.6 incidents per 1,000 children exceeds the state average of 78 per 1,000.

The shelter, which is being modeled after similar facilities in Sacramento, would be one of about 35 in the United States. While there are similar facilities in Placer County, building a facility here would allow parents to maintain daily phone contact with their children and keep up with visits every other day.

“This satisfies an existing need and fills a gap in services,” said Freedle, who noted the shelter can serve a maximum of six children at one time.

To date, large donations for the shelter have been secured from several charitable trusts, the Soroptimists and Raley’s Superstore.

Tickets for the fund-raiser are $90 per couple and $50 or individuals. For information, call 272-7152.

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