Raffle benefits Truckee Family Connection

Alisha Wyman

Truckee Family Connection will hold its first annual rummage sale and raffle June 21 to raise funds for charity, as well as for their own picnics and fieldtrips.

“(Truckee Family Connection) is a great way for new families in Truckee to meet other families,” said Rose Weskamp, organizer of the raffle and rummage sale. “It’s is a very educational and resourceful group.”

More than 50 families have contributed household goods, clothing, sporting goods, toys, books, and other items for the rummage sale. Local businesses like Marilyn’s Catwalk, Vrooman Woodcarvings and Truckee Train and Toy donated either products from their stores or gift certificates for the raffle.

The grand prize is valued at more than $400 and includes two rounds of golf at Northstar, dinner at the Dragonfly, a night at the Truckee Hotel, and breakfast at the Squeeze In.

The event will take place at the Truckee Public Utility District parking lot June 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Raffle tickets are available for $1, or six for $5 outside of Safeway Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased at the Truckee Chamber of Commerce or the rummage sale.

Suzie Simonpietri founded Truckee Family Connection. It began about seven years ago as a small group of moms and has since bloomed into a full-fledged non-profit organization. They hold regular board meetings and playgroups for their children.

With this fund-raiser, the group is hoping to continue its support of families in the area and organizations like KidZone and the Children’s Community Chest, president Celeste Leon said. These programs, as well as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and Project MANA, are past recipients of the Truckee Family Connection’s support.

Aside from contributions to charities and community service, the organization plans monthly activities geared to provide families support and entertainment. Regular playgroups give moms and dads a chance to compare notes, and kids time to play together, Weskamp said. She is the family support person for the age group of her 14-month-old daughter, Deanna.

Truckee Family Connection meets at each member’s house in turn, bringing food and discussing life with their babies.

“We brag a lot,” Weskamp said. “‘Woo hoo, so and so rolled over for the first time!'”

But there are also opportunities for parents to take a break from their kids. This year, for “Mom’s Night Out,” the group plans to rent a campsite.

“For some of us, it’s our only social gathering outside of the house,” Weskamp said. And at these events, they don’t talk about diapers.

Weskamp stressed the value of these ventures to families and organizations in this area. Truckee Family Connection is primarily devoted to the community, donating 80-85 percent of their profits to other programs and families

“It’s just a very giving organization,” Weskamp said.

The organization aims to raise $5,000 this year between the raffle and rummage sale. It usually has several fund-raisers per year, but if it meets the goal, other events would be unnecessary.

For more information on donations for the raffle, call Leah Butterworth (Glenshire) at 587-1080, or Carrie Lang (Tahoe Donner) at 587-3107. For information on Truckee Family Connection, call Rose Weskamp at 550-0755.

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