Building a Stronger Community

Whitby Women fundraising for Feed the Need Durham

Big prizes in Big Hearts charity raffle

Mar 02, 2010 - 04:30 AM

By Reka Szekely, Metroland

DURHAM -- A group of Whitby women with big hearts is supporting local food banks for their annual charity fundraising campaign.

For the last five years, Hearts of Durham has chosen different charities to support and this year it's chosen Feed the Need Durham, a non-profit organization that collects and distributes food to local food banks, soup kitchens and breakfast programs.

Hearts of Durham was created by a group of women from Brooklin in 2005.

"We just wanted to plan a fun night to get dressed up and dolled up and support a good cause," said Dana Baltovich, public relations manager for Hearts of Durham.

The project was wildly successful, raising $24,000 in its first year. Since then the group has raised $210,000 that has been distributed to various charities including Herizon House, Hearth Place and the Durham Children's Aid Foundation.

The group is still run by volunteers.

"We're a group of nine moms who really just feel if a group of people can get together, a huge difference can be made," said Ms. Baltovich.

Among the activities this year is a 1920s-themed benefit at Ajax's Deer Creek Golf and Banquet Facility in April as well as the Big Hearts Raffle.

Tickets are $20 each and only 2,500 are being sold. The grand prize is a $5,180 vacation package. Winners can select a family trip to Disney World or a getaway to the Caribbean for two. The second prize is a $3,180 home theatre system including a 54-inch plasma TV. There are also prizes of VISA and grocery gift cards and tickets to the Bee's Knees benefit in April.

To purchase tickets, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The draw is on March 31.