The Cochrane Immigrant Services Committee scored another hit with their recent appetizer night and virtual silent auction.

The second annual event continued to attract a crowd, despite having to adjust the event to suit the current pandemic. They had 71 people order the appetizer boxes, an increase from around 60 last year.

People bid on 16 items in their online auction. There were also two door prizes up for grabs for those purchasing the appetizer boxes.

Candy Weisner, of the organizing committee, says they raised $1,800.

"That goes towards our various welcoming events. including the Culture Fest," she says. "It certainly doesn't cover the cost, but it helps us towards our events."

Weisner says it was a bit disappointing to not be able to do an in-person event with a guest speaker like the first year, but they were extremely pleased with the response.

The immigrant committee is better known to some as Cochrane Newcomers and strives to welcome all new residents to the community.

Weisner says one of the successful bidders moved here from Ontario less than a year ago.

"It was a great way to still welcome her to the community, and she felt welcomed and felt a part of it," says Weisner.  "We're the Cochrane Immigrants Services Committee, but we're bigger than that. We welcome all newcomers and try to help everyone feel involved and welcome in the community. We seem to be achieving that."

The committee will now focusing its attention on planning its Culture Fest, set to enter its third year this fall, and perhaps a few other smaller events.

They'll also be participating in the upcoming Helping Hands food bank drives.