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Happy to Sing the Blues

May 21, 1999

Move over, House of Blues. Mercy House--which helps Orange County's homeless--was making some cool music of its own at a recent fund-raiser aptly titled the Mercy House of Blues.

Supporters of the group's services to the homeless were treated to riffs by Julie Ragins and Jimmy Felber, raffle tickets to New Orleans, and brochettes and quiches from Bistango Restaurant in Irvine, which served as a blues lounge for the event last week.

"It was a big success," says executive director Larry Haynes. "There was a lot of fun to be had. We made some important connections about what our service is, and we spent time with old and new friends.

"People couldn't talk enough about the ambience and the food and the raffle prizes," Haynes says. "It was just gratifying to see the number of good people willing to serve the poor."

About 200 guests attended, netting more than $30,000 for the group's transitional living centers.

Mercy House has three residential facilities: Regina House for battered women and their children; Joseph House for single homeless men; and the soon-to-open Emmanuel House for the homeless with AIDS and HIV.

"We look forward to doing it again next year," Haynes says. "It's one of three signature events we do each year to raise money."

A golf fund-raiser is scheduled for Aug. 9 at Alta Vista Country Club in Placentia. A Christmas dinner will be Dec. 4 at the Village Crean in Santa Ana. (714) 836-7188.

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