Splish and Splash

This year’s Splish and Splash will be modified due to COVID-19.

POCATELLO — Splish and Splash, the eighth annual Aid For Friends summer fundraiser, has been altered to comply with today’s health and safety conditions and will be held Aug. 7 at Ross Park.

Normally, the family- and community-friendly event would include a barbecue dinner, unlimited swimming and trips down the water slide at the Ross Park Aquatic Complex, music from a disc jockey and many beach balls. The 2020 version will embrace those traditions while adapting to Southeast Idaho Public Health rules.

This year’s activity is closed, the meal will be a picnic-style luncheon and the only guests will be those who are struggling the most in these chaotic times: homeless families and individuals Aid For Friends is assisting with temporary housing, rapid re-housing and permanent supportive housing programs. Currently, no one is residing at the AFF shelter because of COVID-19, and the homeless have been provided with alternate housing. Community services at the shelter, such as showers and laundry facilities, are being offered by appointment only by calling 208-232-5669.

If health conditions change and become more restrictive, meals and a pass for swimming at a later date will be delivered to AFF clients at their alternate housing.

We can, hopefully, show them that our community cares about their situation and give them an evening of fun and relaxation. And by limiting the numbers, we can better monitor social distancing and dramatically reduce exposure/spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Aid For Friends is also holding a raffle that includes a charcoal grill and accessories, three beautiful quilts, staycations and several baskets. Raffle ticket sales began July 15 and the drawing will be conducted via Facebook live streaming at noon on Aug. 14.

“Even though we had to modify our fundraiser this year, we are still providing a fun evening for our shelter and housing clients” said AFF Executive Director B.J. Stensland. “We are hoping to have a small event for them but are aware that their safety comes first. Aid For Friends can still raise funds through our online raffle and we have awesome prizes. The drawing will be live on our Facebook page on Aug. 14 at (noon).”

To support this event and raise funds for the homeless shelter, Aid For Friends is seeking local businesses, community civic organizations, religious groups and private donors to support our unique fundraiser. The Idaho National Laboratory — Battelle Energy Alliance and Modern Woodmen of America have already joined as major sponsors, along with other anonymous donors. To donate or for additional information, contact Stensland at 208-232-0178 or visit http://aidforfriendspocatello.com/splish-splash/.