The event, sponsored by the Tracy Chamber of Commerce, was the first mixer specifically for nonprofits.
Taking part in the event were 25 groups, according to Sofia Valenzuela, president of the chamber. The event was free to attend.
“Every year we hosted an entrepreneur show, and we don’t have it anymore, and we were thinking, Who else can we showcase?” she said. “We choose nonprofits to build awareness to what they do. It’s a stepping stone to promote nonprofits.”
Organizers and volunteers manned various booths to display informational materials and talk about their functions within the community.
Among the participating nonprofits were Surtec Adopt-A-Family, Animal Rescue of Tracy, McHenry House Tracy Family Shelter, Tracy Crime Stoppers, American Cancer Society and Tracy Sunrise Rotary.
“I love this event,” said Patty Chaballa, board member for Chest of Hope, which provides services to abuse victims. “It’s so important. Nobody knew about us and we’ve been around for two years. I had no idea of all these services. There’s a great variety.”
Carol Newman, a volunteer for the Surtec Adopt-A-Family organization, said her group wanted to mingle with other nonprofits and gain some recognition in the community.
Since 1991, the group has been organizing adoptions of needy families during Christmas to provide food and gifts.
“We’re trying to get our name out,” she said. “Last year, we helped 300 families, and we’re looking for volunteers. Plenty of room for volunteers.”
Animal Rescue of Tracy President Ron Silva said the event fit right into his group’s efforts to find “forever homes” for rescued dogs and cats.
“I think it’s a very good idea,” he said, manning his booth with organization board members Cathy Silva and Molly Karl. “It gives all of us exposure, which is everything. It’s going to be a benefit to all, and great for networking.”
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