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Benefit celebrates 10 years of aiding homeless Nov. 19

The 10th annual Grace Place Wine Tasting Benefit and Silent Auction will again be hosted by Ready Randy's/R&D Catering in New Richmond.

This year's Ladies Night Out event will be held on the Saturday of the deer-hunting opener, Nov. 19, from 6-9:30 p.m. The event will feature the music of The Ricks.

The benefit has been a popular event and over the past 10 years the community has helped to raise over $61,000 to support area homeless shelters, Grace Place in Somerset and Serenity Home in Balsam Lake.

Grace Place provides emergency housing for struggling families in St. Croix and surrounding counties. Residents typically stay an average of three months during which time staff and volunteers provide the tools and moral support they need to reach their individual goals. These goals may include finding employment and obtaining necessary medical attention, as well as learning valuable skills necessary to maintain independence. Clients are encouraged to find permanent housing in the communities in which they work.

Serenity Home caters to single people who find themselves homeless. The facility also helps clients with job skills and housing searches.

According to Duana Bremer, director of the Salvation Army of St. Croix County, the wine tasting benefit helps Grace Place continue to provide its important services in our area.

"We're all experiencing difficult economic times and we are seeing a growing need for services throughout St. Croix County," Bremer said. "Even those who aren't in need of shelter are struggling to pay rent, utility and transportation costs."

In 2010, Grace Place provided 6,265 shelter nights to homeless families, an increase over previous years. At Serenity Home, 6,504 shelter nights were recorded last year for single occupants. (One shelter night equals one night of shelter per person).

The Nov. 19 event gives attendees the opportunity to mingle, sample some wine, beer, desserts and appetizers. The silent auction portion of the evening will include various gift certificates, gift cards, theme baskets, game tickets, golf packages, time shares and merchandise for baskets, all donated by area businesses. Monetary donations are welcomed and go directly to Grace Place and Serenity Home.

Tickets for the event are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door.

All proceeds from this event will be matched by the home office of Modern Woodsmen of America, Chapter 3579, Hudson, up to $2,500.

For those unable to attend the event, donations can be made to the Salvation Army of St. Croix County or by dropping money in the "red kettles" at various locations during the upcoming holiday season.