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Idaho Falls Friendship Club gearing up for community event at Freeman Park


IDAHO FALLS — Community members are invited to attend an event hosted by a local group in need of help.

Joe Shumate, who has been an addict his entire life, is trying to raise awareness and funds to provide a safe place for the Idaho Falls Friendship Club to gather and spend time together. The group is for those seeking help for their addictions or who are recovering from them.

As part of its fundraising efforts to get the doors open, the club is putting on a Friendship Fest event on Aug. 20 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Freeman Park, located at 1290 Science Center Drive in Idaho Falls.

“We want money and we want help,” Shumate, who is also the chairman of the event, told “We’re not going to get the doors open without community support.”

Friendship fest flyer
The flyer for the Friendship Fest event that is being put on by the Idaho Falls Friendship Club. | Courtesy Joe Shumate

While the event itself is free, there will be raffle tickets on sale for those in attendance. Those who enter can win a 2001 Subaru Legacy Outback all-wheel drive car that was donated by United Auto. Raffle tickets are $5 each or five tickets for $20.

“They put a new motor in it,” Shumate said. “It’s still a 20-year-old car but a lot of people are on their feet (these days).”

Shumate invited every local treatment and re-entry center he could think of to set up a table and have pamphlets available for people to take. He asked a lady who does Narcan training — Narcan is a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose — to attend as well.

There will also be food, swag handed out and live music throughout the day. If anybody is interested in playing music or reading poetry, Shumate said they will make time for it.

“The more the merrier,” he added. “Anyone that wants to show up and participate, that would be great.”

Shumate said the event is kid-friendly and he encourages families to attend together.

“Kids feel the destruction in their life more than anyone when a family member is suffering with a disease of addiction,” Shumate said. “Addiction is a family disease. The solution should be a family solution, a community solution.”

For more information or to get involved with Friendship Fest, email Tom Harris or Shumate.

Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.

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