Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Enjoy ‘An Evening in Marrakesh’

Fundraising gala July 2 will support The Advocates

Express Staff Writer

Event volunteers Shanon Christensen, Shannon King and Juliette Gutierrez work at the 2008 fundraising event for The Advocates. Photo by

The Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault will host its 12th annual gala fundraising event, "An Evening in Marrakesh," on Thursday, July 2, at 5:30 p.m. Proceeds will help The Advocates in its mission to provide shelter and services for abuse victims at its Hailey headquarters.

The event at Sun Valley Resort's Limelight Room will include hors d'oeuvres, a sit-down dinner with wine, and silent and live auctions presided over by master of ceremonies Christian Kolberg. The evening will also include entertainment by 3 Leg Torso, an eclectic band from Portland, Ore.

"We do what we can, but we have had to cut back some services," said Tricia Swartling, executive director of The Advocates. "We have seen our numbers, phone calls and people in need of assistance double and triple because of the economic situation."

Silent and live auction items include opportunities for travel, parties and unique experiences provided by supporters of the organization. Auction highlights include a Chicago trip for two with skybox tickets to a Bears vs. Steelers football game, cocktails for 40 at Cavallino Lounge, a midnight-blue Vespa, a Western Spirit bike trip for four in Canyonlands National Park, five nights at an Orcas Island waterfront estate, a Company of Fools theater and dinner package, and a week in Princeville, Kauai. Attendees also have the opportunity to purchase mystery gift certificates.

The evening's program includes a local woman's first-hand account of her triumph over domestic violence.

"One of things that people might not think about with The Advocates is we are not just focused on domestic-violence issues," Swartling said. "We look at the whole person 99 percent of time."

In addition, The Advocates is raffling a package that includes two full-season ski passes, a $2,500 gift certificate to Sturtevants, and a $2,500 gift certificate to Atkinsons'. Raffle tickets are on sale in sets of five for $100 or for $25 each. They can be purchased by calling 788-4191. The winning ticket will be drawn at the event. Raffle participants do not need to be present to win but are encouraged to attend the event.

"When people overcome their fears and shame about coming in, The Advocates is a really safe place and everyone is supported," Swartling said.

Tables of eight or 10 are available for $150 per person or $2,500 for a VIP table of 10. Reservations can be purchased by calling 788-4191.

Guests are invited to wear Moroccan or cocktail attire and comfortable dancing shoes.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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