Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Crisis Hotline benefit is a cause to support

Taste wine and bid on a wide selection of auction items

Express Staff Writer

From left, Svea Grover, Kristin Beavers and Janet Barton enjoy wine tasting at the Crisis Hotline benefit. This year’s spring wine tasting and silent auction event will take place at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden on Saturday, June 4. Photo by Willy Cook

The fourth annual Crisis Hotline Spring Wine Tasting and Silent Auction benefit is a garden party not to be missed. It will take place Saturday, June 4, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden south of Ketchum. Tickets are $25 available at the door or by calling 788-0735.

The event will include live music by the Wood River Valley's own All Night Diner with gourmet appetizers and delicious wines from Holesinsky Winery, George IV Wines, Frenchman's Gulch Winery and S&C Wines.

In addition, auction items include a two-night stay in a two-bedroom Aston Resorts condo, a Petersen Jewelers handmade sterling silver and amethyst necklace and bracelet by Lisa Jenks, a half-day White Cloud raft trip for four, a Mountain Adventure Tours "Children's Enviro-tainment Program," a silk peel and facial with Lorraine at the office of Dr. Tom Crais, a Les Schwab front-end alignment, an AmericInn pool party, a Sun Summit gift certificate for bike or ski tune, two gift certificates to the Snow Bunny, a free cast and one shoe and one athletic orthopedic at Ski Tek, four hour of babysitting for one child from Supersitters, a gift from Vintage, one to three hours at Eve Heart Counseling, a one-month membership to Blaine County Fitness Center, one haircut and hairstyling by Shellie Lard, and a one-month membership at Zenergy.

"We have a number of new information handouts for attendees," said Crisis Hotline Director Sher Foster. "Calls have tripled since November 2010 to now. The economy is really taking a hit on people."

Foster said the Crisis Hotline is "hanging in there" but the organization needs funds to run its services.

Dedicated volunteers, a creative board of directors and generous donors have allowed the organization to provide a broad range of services to Wood River Valley residents for the past 24 years. The Crisis Hotline saves lives 168 hours each week, provides year-round, 24-hour-a-day crisis intervention phone lines, offers referrals for emergency services, legal services, counselors and financial aid, and creates youth outreach booths and tables at events and conferences.

Foster said substance abuse, child abuse and other violence in families has increased as the economic crisis continues. With the closing of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare office in Bellevue, the Crisis Hotline must shoulder most of the burden of providing immediate services to people in need. According to the Crisis Hotline, Idaho has one of the highest suicide rates in the United States. Suicide takes a life in Idaho every 40 hours, leaving behind devastated family, friends, co-workers and communities each time. In 2007, the most recent year for which information is available, Idaho had the 11th highest suicide rate in the nation, 36 percent higher than the national average. In 2008, 251 Idahoans committed suicide. That number jumped to 307 in 2009.

"We have serious problems in our community," Foster said. "The Crisis Hotline can directly save lives. We often receive feedback from callers who let us know that they made it through."

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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