LEMOORE — Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino recently hosted its December community breakfast and presented a check for $3,700 to Valley Animal Haven, a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter in Lemoore that helps save the lives of helpless and homeless animals.

More than 350 people attended the breakfast, raising a total of $1,850 at the door. Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino and the Santa Rosa Rancheria Tribe matched the amount for a total donation of $3,700.

Tachi Palace general manager Willie Barrios was on hand to present the check to Pam Brasil, executive director of Valley Animal Haven.

Brasil said receiving the donation was “tremendous”, especially because Valley Animal Haven runs on donations and fundraisers only and every dollar matters.

“It was my dream to open a shelter to assist animals, and it is generous donations such as this that have helped make that dream a reality” Brasil said. “We will use this money to purchase food, pet supplies and cleaning products, and help the countless animals that are in need.”

Catherine Montoya, advertising manager at Tachi Palace, said the community breakfasts have been going on for over two decades.

Montoya said the purpose of the breakfasts is for the community to get together, network and share what is going on with their businesses, all while helping a local nonprofit organization. Attendees are encouraged to make a minimum donation of $5 to attend the breakfast.

The breakfast features a buffet and all contributions benefit a featured organization. Montoya said Tachi collects requests all year long and at the end of the year a donation committee reviews the requests and selects which organizations are helped.

The breakfasts usually have 400 attendees and Montoya said anyone can attend them.

Valley Animal Haven was the recipient of a donation from a community breakfast last December, and Brasil said both events have been the shelter’s largest fundraisers the last two years.

She said she is glad the shelter has community partners all around and is appreciative of the help. In fact, Valley Animal Haven also received blankets from a blanket drive at Meadow Lane Elementary School in Lemoore this year.

“It’s wonderful, especially for the winter,” Brasil said. “We use every single piece.”

Brasil said the dog kennels are now triple-insulated and there were even some leftover to put on the cold concrete outside and inside with the cats.

The next community breakfast will be held Jan. 26, and will benefit United Health Centers. For more information, visit tachipalace.com.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2423 or jzavala@hanfordsentinel.com.