Santa Monica-based CLARE Foundation hosted its annual CLARE Community Center FriendRaiser Saturday, September 10th, and according to CLARE staff, it was a huge success.

CLARE has 11 programs in four locations, all providing care to those seeking recovery from alcoholism and substance abuse.

Almost a hundred people showed up, including the mayor of Culver City, Gary Silbiger, said Lacey Von Deak, communications and donor relations coordinator for CLARE.

“We had a really good turnout,” said Julie Edens, special events coordinator. “We had a lot of alumni show up — people that were in our programs and are now in the workforce.”

Current residents of CLARE’s programs attended the event, as well as members of the community.

The silent auction alone, which had about 25 items, raised a little over $2,000.

“We about doubled what we made last year on the event,” said Von Deak. “It was a beautiful day for everyone, especially for the mothers and the children in our program.”

All proceeds from the FriendRaiser will benefit two CLARE community center programs — Women with Children and CLARITY for Youth.

The Women with Children program is described by CLARE as “a highly structured sober living center where women are able to seek treatment for their addictions and bring their children with them.”

“This is a very successful program, with 90 percent of women who enter the program completing it,” Von Deak said.

The other program the FriendRaiser benefited is The CLARITY for Youth program, which brings counselors into middle schools and high schools to educate and counsel at-risk teens. In the last year alone, CLARE has been able to double the number of schools it serves through this program, said Von Deak.

The FriendRaiser event was held at the Culver Events Center in the Mar Vista area.

There was a luncheon, an auction, a raffle, a program with guest speakers, face painting, arts and crafts, and even a reptile show with a reptile specialist who brought snakes, turtles, tarantulas, tree frogs and “all kinds of crazy things,” Von Deak said.

“It was a huge hit,” said Edens of the reptile show. “The best part of the day is that the kids had an incredible time.”

“It was a raging success,” said Von Deak. “It was a really nice day.”

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