Havana Business Improvement District, Comitis Crisis Center and Safeway Team up to Feed the Homeless by Shopping in Aurora

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The Havana Business Improvement District’s 4th Annual Grocery Cart Races to benefit Aurora’s Comitis Crisis Center targets a record $20,000 in fundraising.

Grocery Cart Races - Aurora Grocery Store - On Havana Street

Shopping in Aurora: Silliness meets philanthropy at the annual Grocery Cart Races

This annual event answers the question, "How can I walk around an Aurora grocery store in a funny costume, fill my decorated cart with groceries, pay no taxes and not get arrested?"

On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, the Havana Business Improvement District (BID) dba On Havana Street, in partnership with Safeway, brings silliness and philanthropy to shopping in Aurora with its Fourth Annual Grocery Cart Races to benefit the Comitis Crisis Center in Aurora, Colorado.

The Comitis Crisis Center, a program of Mile High Behavioral Healthcare, provides food, shelter and programs for homeless families, Veterans and youth. Last year’s event generated $15,000, which was enough groceries to feed the Center’s residents through September. This year’s goal is $20,000, which would stock the shelves for the entirety of 2014. Each year, Comitis serves over 19,000 meals to the homeless.

“This annual event,” said Gayle Jetchick, Executive Director of the Havana BID, “answers the question, ‘How can I walk around an Aurora grocery store in a funny costume, fill my decorated cart with groceries, pay no taxes and not get arrested?”

Teams of four raise money to pay their grocery bills, create themes and names, decorate grocery carts and find items on the grocery store shelves from the Center’s “food pantry wish list.” Teams have less than ten minutes to collect as many items as they can before checking out.

Many local, regional and national businesses and organizations partner with community leaders to make this event a success. Havana BID participating businesses include Suss Buick/GMC, 1st Bank and The Summit Steakhouse.

The event is hosted by Aurora grocery store Safeway at 1677 South Havana Street, Aurora, Colorado, 80014. It occurs Tuesday, January 28, 2014, at 7:00 PM.

Jetchick triumphantly advised that, due to the 35-team roster filling up more quickly than ever before, team registration is now closed but added, "People can always help Comitis help our community by contributing at ColoradoGives.org."

"We have neighbors in our community with kids, hopes and aspirations, but without a home in which to put them all," said James Gillespie, spokesman for Comitis. "The Cart Races provide food for our homeless and an opportunity for people to make a difference in the lives of our otherwise ‘unseen’ neighbors."

About Havana Business Improvement District
The Havana Business Improvement District (BID) dba On Havana Street is a special district in Colorado created in 2007 by business and neighborhood leaders and Aurora city staff working together to build a stronger, better community. The District makes a difference by focusing on unique, culturally diverse events and fun new things to do and working to keep the area clean, safe and beautiful. For more information please contact Gayle Jetchick, Executive Director info (at) OnHavanaStreet (dot) com, (303) 360-7505.

About Comitis Crisis Center
The Comitis Crisis Center is Aurora's only homeless shelter. A program of Mile High Behavioral Healthcare, Comitis has served the Aurora Metropolitan community for over 44 years with free services to homeless families, children, and Veterans. The staff stand ready to serve the needs of the homeless community with dignity, respect, and compassion. After all, Comitis means "Friendship." More information: contact James Gillespie, Community Impact and Government Relations Liaison: jgillespie (at) mhbhc (dot) org or (303) 898-5507

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Gayle Jetchick
since: 07/2010
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