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AntFarm seeks community help during fundraising season

Nonprofit hopes to raise $25,000 with auction dinner, gofundme.com

Sandy nonprofit organization AntFarm is using the month of April to raise funds for its multitude of programs.

AntFarm will host a fundraising dinner and auction at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 17, at its Café and Bakery location, 39140 Proctor Blvd. The event will feature a silent and oral auction as well as dinner and music.

“People are constantly asking me, ‘How can I help? How can I give?’” said AntFarm Program Manager Sean Maloy. “This is the time of year they have that opportunity.”

AntFarm co-founder Damon Schwab and the cafe’s interns will prepare the meal. Maloy said the night’s menu hasn’t been revealed to him yet, but he predicts it will be delicious.POST ARCHIVE PHOTO - Margarette Engstrom washes dishes during her internship at AntFarms Cafe and Bakery.

The night also will include presentations of what 2014 brought for AntFarm as well as an outlook on its future. AntFarm helps youths and elderly people in the community through internships in its Café and Bakery, community outreach and CommunityConnect events, group adventure hikes, tutoring at its Axis Learning Center and its community garden.

Admission for the event is $35 for one ticket or $60 for two. Tickets can be purchased online at antfarm-international.com or AntFarm’s downtown location.

“The easiest way to purchase a ticket is to come on in,” Maloy noted.

Those wishing to attend should grab a ticket fast because there are only 80 available.

For those who can’t make it, AntFarm is still looking for help in raising funds. The driving forces behind AntFarm began fundraising on the Go Fund Me site at the beginning of April.

The site is a means of trying to raise $25,000 to fund the nonprofit’s current projects.

A portion of the money will go towards revamping AntFarm’s cans and bottles program. For now, AntFarm pays a lot of its operating costs from money it gets from the cans and bottles dropped off for donation by community members at its outdoor building, 38600 Proctor Blvd.

The cans are then sorted and taken by volunteers to a local bottle return.

“That’s thousands and thousands of cans and bottles a month that we’re having to take down one by one,” said Maloy, adding that eventually they’d like to cut out the step of feeding the cans and bottles into a machine one by one and have a recycler come and pick them up. POST ARCHIVE PHOTO - Jaime Holub, left, works with youth volunteers at AntFarms community garden.

But the Ford Institute Leadership Program chose AntFarm’s bottles and cans program as its community development project for this year, so the program will soon get a new look.

The Ford Family Foundation will provide matching funds for the project and $10,000 of the funds AntFarm hopes to raise are designated for the endeavor.

The remaining money would fund the 40 internships AntFarm would like to add for its farmers market and community garden and continue with in its Café and Bakery.

“That money is to grow those programs and keep them vibrant,” Maloy said.

In February, AntFarm began an eight-week internship program for youths to learn job-readiness skills as well as work in the kitchen and on the espresso machine.

The program’s first interns have just finished their time in the kitchen and are ready to make way to welcome a whole new bunch.

“It’s been widely successful,” Maloy said of the program. “Some of them have already gotten jobs, and that’s the key. Not only to teach them to be good workers but to be good human beings as well.”

To donate or learn more, visit gofundme.com/antfarm.