“It meant a lot to us that we got to host this event,” said 3rd Planet owner Sue McCool, “‘rooted in the community’ is more than a sign we hang above the bar. We are thrilled when we can help the community like this.”
About 270 people gathered with crowns to set the new world record, which was voided last year after a counting controversy, for most people at an event with tiaras.
Local business, Drama Kids, came up with the idea as a way to raise money for the CALM House, which helps moms and children in crisis. All in all, the fundraiser added more than $2,000 to the coffers at CALM. Chanie Erb, the past president of CALM House, said that the money would mean a lot to the people who use the charity’s facilities in Niceville.
“Any dollar amount helps CALM in a multitude of ways,” Erb said. “We are 100% supported by community donors. We are not federally funded or state funded so everything that we do at CALM House is privately funded.”
Having the event at the Brewery means a big turnout and more community support for CALM. “This is what community is about: to get together and have a great time, while also supporting an amazing organization at the same time,” Erb added.
Although the amount raised at the event helps, CALM still needs donations and volunteers to maximize the impact, it can make on women and children in need. “If you want to be a volunteer in a big way or a small way, we can make that happen,” Erb added.
The money will also go to help with the construction and maintenance of CALMs new independent living project – which builders began earlier in the summer. The project will add micro homes to the campus of the CALM House on Redwood and 27th Street in Niceville. The homes will allow women to enter transitional housing with their children and learn to live independently while still having resources to fall back on immediately. In total, the campus would have a total of nine 600-square-foot homes on the property.
“Groundbreaking on these homes is monumental for our residents. We struggle with finding affordable housing for our graduates when they complete our program,” Erb said, “this allows women to transition from CALM to independent living.”
The women who move into the home will become tenants at that point and will have rent controls in place which are based on their income. No woman will pay more than 30% of her monthly income to CALM for the place.
Applicants for the homes don’t necessarily have to be CALM graduates, but they do need to be women in crisis.