John Barrette

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February 27, 2013
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FISH refinances buildings, exceeds 210,000 meals, plans fundraiser

FISH signed a refinancing agreement for its complex, served 210,544 meals in 12 months and plans its annual fundraising event March 14, according to Executive Director Jim Peckham.

Also known as Friends In Service Helping, the Carson City organization doubles up on its acronym to highlight its mission of providing those in need help with food, independence, shelter and health care.

Refinancing for FISH meant a significant hurdle is being cleared.

"We have just signed an agreement to refinance our balloon payment that was coming due," said Peckham, speaking about the complex at 138 E. Long St., on the northeast corner of Carson and Long streets.

Peckham praised Bank of the West and donors.

"They've gone above and beyond," he said of the bank. He said it helped by waiving some costs and refinancing $1.25 million over 15 years. Closing is set for Friday, Peckham said.

As for donors, he indicated the initial amount was $1.75 million and that the $500,000 couldn't have been covered without them.

Peckham also offered details of the annual "Have A Heart" fundraising banquet the evening of March 14 at the Carson Nugget, and provided service statistics for the organization.

In the trailing 12 months that ended Jan. 31, he said, 18,337 people were helped. That included 210,544 meals and 31,108 dining room meals for people needing sustenance.

About 45 percent of the FISH clients in that period have been children.

In addition, the organization provided 15,093 nights of lodging in shelters, helped 1,313 new families and gave out 1,120 thrift store vouchers for clothing, housewares and furniture.

FISH clients included 1,401 senior citizens in the 12 months, along with 1,238 disabled people. It helped 1,048 Ross Medical Clinic patients. There were 313 families helped in paying utility bills.

The "Have A Heart" banquet theme is "Opening Your Heart Is The Key To Opening Doors."

Cocktails and a silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner and the program starting at 6:15 p.m. The cost is $1,000 per table of eight, or $100 per individual open seat at tables of 10.

The eight-person table admission includes eight raffle tickets, two additional bottles of wine and an advertisement in the event program.

Honorees for the evening will be state Sen. Debbie Smith of Sparks and former Carson City Supervisor Shelly Aldean.

"Sen. Smith and Supervisor Aldean have each, in her own way, helped FISH unlock doors," the organization said in a news release.

Smith was cited for work as an advocate for education, for championing those in need and for efforts to remove obstacles making matters more difficult for charitable organizations such as FISH.

Aldean, recognized for her work as a city-county supervisor, was cited as well for her service as president of the Capital City Circles Initiative since 2008.

Both Circles and FISH believe in empowering people to help themselves, FISH said, creating a "natural synergism" between the organizations.

"It has led to a mutual respect and close cooperation," according to FISH.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Feb 27, 2013 02:53AM Published Feb 27, 2013 02:53AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.