Thursday, March 6, 2003

Mardi Gras benefits homeless kids



By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - The 2003 Mardi Gras for Homeless Children raised more money for the benefiting charities than any previous celebration in the event's 12-year history, organizers said Wednesday.

Monday night's event at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center drew more than 2,000 people to sample specialties from dozens of Greater Cincinnati restaurants.

"It looks like we're going to be very close to our goal of $60,000 this year, thanks to a $10,000 donation by (former Cincinnati Reds majority owner) Marge Schott,'' said Gordy Snyder, chairman of the annual celebration that's sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Restaurant Association.

"Marge reached down a little deeper to help out because she had heard that the shelter's donations were down this year.

"She made a nice contribution, and we appreciate that.''

Snyder said organizers also were "extremely grateful'' to the restaurants and the purveyors who donated time and goods, to the public who attended and to the volunteers.

"We're especially grateful to our honorary king and queen, (WLW personality) Bill Cunningham and Marge Schott,'' Snyder said.

The four social-service agencies benefiting from the event are:

• Bethany House Services.

• Mercy Franciscan at St. John in Cincinnati.

• Brighton Center's Homeward Bound emergency shelter in Covington for abused, neglected or abandoned teenagers and preteens.

• Welcome House of Northern Kentucky Inc. in Covington.

The organizations help more than 40,000 clients each year.

The annual Mardi Gras for Homeless Children has now raised more than $400,000 to support their work, Snyder said.

E-mail cschroeder@enquirer.com




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