June 10, 2010 in City

Unity in the Community in need of support

The Spokesman-Review
How to help
For information, or to contribute to Unity in the Community, visit www.nwunity.org or call Ben Cabildo at (509) 209-2634.

Unity in the Community, the annual celebration of diversity in Spokane, needs a little help this year.

The continuing economic downturn has decreased charitable giving nationwide, and Unity is no exception, said organizer Ben Cabildo, director of AHANA and Community-based Economic Development.

“We are down 50 percent from last year,” said Cabildo, adding that corporate sponsors that typically give $1,500 are donating $250 or $500 this year. “It’s understandable.”

Unity organizers are asking supporters to throw house parties at which participants can donate to the Aug. 21 event in Riverfront Park, this year titled “2010 Ways to Celebrate Diversity.”

The cost of holding the Unity in the Community event ranges from $15,000 to $24,000, “depending on how many school supplies we buy,” Cabildo said.

The event, now in its 16th year, has given away back-to-school packages for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. School supplies valued at $5,000 were donated last year, as well as safety helmets for cycling and skate-boarding.

Nearly 10,000 people attended the 2009 event, the largest multicultural event in the Inland Northwest, which featured a youth area, cultural village and entertainment.

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