Lift-Up holds Luau |

Lift-Up holds Luau

— A local woman who received help from Lift-Up of Routt County for extreme medical debt will tell her personal story at the agency’s first Luau on Friday.

“I don’t want to tell her story in advance because that will take away from the people in attendance,” said David Freseman, executive director of Lift-Up. “I would encourage people to hear the story directly from a client instead of Lift-Up people.”

The Luau will be complete with tiki torches, leis, a cash bar with beer and wine, a limbo contest and a traditional Hawaiian pig roast.

Loose Change will provide music and dressing up is encouraged.

There will be a costume contest for the best dressed Hawaiian man and woman.

The event will include an educational component regarding Lift-Up’s programs as well.

“It is meant to be a learning event as well as a great fun time,” Freseman said. “The bottom line is that we are helping people with basic life needs, that helps them to be able to both live and work here in the Yampa Valley.”

Freseman thinks that many people in the community have the preconception that Lift-Up only helps with food allocations.

“That is a very important part of the program, but we also help with services like a month’s rent to help them stay in their housing,” he said. “Often through Salvation Army funds, we are able to help people with extreme dental issues, pain, infection and we help people with prescriptions. We also help multiple families through the winter with heating bills that otherwise would be shut off.”

Lift-Up had about 3,200 client visits in 2005 and they assisted clients with approximately $100,000 worth of food. The Luau will raise money to support the cost of running food and emergency assistance programs.

“We are hoping for this to become an annual event for Lift-Up,” Freseman said. “It’s neat to have it be a summer outdoor event. We’ll have a big tent set up, tables and the whole nine yards.”

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