Aloha James

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Aloha James | A Luau to Fight Addiction

July 16th, 2022 - 6:30 PM

Caloroso Eatery & Bar

100 Center St. Shelton, CT


A message from Vanessa Shimer:

"My name is Vanessa Shimer. I am reaching out to our wonderful community in hopes of having support in hosting my 2nd annual fundraiser dinner that will be on July 16th at Caloroso Eatery & Bar in Shelton. This event is special to me as it is in memory of my younger brother James who would be turning 31 this July. James passed away in August of 2019 due to a Fentanyl accidental overdose. 

As you could imagine the grief my family and I have felt since he’s left us has been painful.  However, through that grief and a deep passion for a change, I was drawn to Shatterproof. Shatterproof is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the addiction crisis in the United States. Shatterproof was founded by Gary Mendell here in Connecticut after he lost his son Brian to addiction. "We don't wait for change, we create it. Together, we're building a future that supports those struggling with addiction and lends strength to their loved ones and communities by advocating for change, providing resources, and taking action to prevent and defeat this horrible disease." As I have previously served as an ambassador and currently serve on the Junior Council Board of Directors of Shatterproof, I’ve felt incredibly inspired by their work. I decided to take my dedication to the organization a step further and I can proudly say I am now working for Shatterproof. The work they do on the outside is just as beautiful as what goes on inside.

I am so excited to be donating all proceeds from our event to Shatterproof. In honor of his 30th birthday, the first Aloha For James which took place last year raised just shy of $6,000, with an initial goal of 3,030 (for his 30th birthday). My goal this year is $7290.00, I am aiming for this goal because that is James & I’s birthday… yes, we were lucky enough to share this important special day. The impact of our attendees, donors, and supporters can make this event a success for the 2nd year.  

The event will have a buffet-style dinner, dessert, cash bar, raffle, music, and meaningful conversation. I am currently looking for donated items that can help make this raffle a success. If you have an item or gift you would like to donate, please email me at We are also accepting gifts/sponsorship of a monetary value that you can directly donate through the donation link above.

Thank you for your support, together we are stronger than addiction."

With Love,

Vanessa Shimer