This year’s “No Room at the Inn” event raised $3,200, a bit less compared to last year’s $5,000.
The event, which displays nativity scenes from community members, raises funds for The Caring Kitchen and the homeless of Champaign County. Always held the day after the annual Cancer Association of Champaign County Candlelight Tour of Homes, it was also part of the tour this year. Church member and “No Room” organizer Mike Henson said he thinks the lower amount of donations likely occurred because visitors saw the nativities the night before on the tour and didn’t return the next night.
“We thought that might hinder it a little bit, that we may not get as many people on Sunday because they went through Saturday night,” he said. “We have no way of knowing for sure. Donations were lower than we expected, but we certainly are not complaining.”
In addition to nativities, “No Room” features an angel collection room, silent auction, concerts by local performers, meal and baked goods for purchase. All proceeds that Sunday evening go to the homeless. The cancer tour’s ticket fees from Saturday go to the Cancer Association.
The smaller amount raised at this year’s “No Room” has not soured Henson or church members on participating in the candlelight tour in the future. Tour stops tend to be different from year to year.
“Certainly, down the road, it would be something we would consider again,” he said. “It was an awesome experience. The Cancer Association is wonderful. It was just a really positive experience all the way around.”
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.