Dessert sale to benefit the deserted

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— Victims of domestic and sexual violence can count on more financial and emotional support after Advocates Against Battering and Abuse's 15th annual "Decadent Desserts" fund-raiser.

Hosted by the Sheraton from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday in the ballroom, about 30 local restaurants and chefs have brought the community an assortment of delectable desserts, coffees and cordials to celebrate a nonprofit organization that assists those in danger.

Tickets are available at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore and at the door for $20 for adults and $10 for children. Diane Moore, executive director of Advocates, said the agency provides a shelter, 24-hour advocacy to victims, a support group for men and women, and criminal justice advice.

A silent and live auction of a variety of items will take place during the evening to benefit general services that Advocates provides. But before ticket holders race through the door to taste creamy cheesecake, a soft and fluffy tiramisu or a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate truffle, the restaurants and chefs will be judged by certified executive chef Don Louie of Colorado Springs.

During the evening, a people's choice award will go to the restaurant or chef with the greatest presentation and taste.

"Unfortunately, domestic and sexual violence happens in Routt County and that our experience is that it's growing," Moore said. "What the community does in response does make a difference."

Moore said the shelter has provided refuge to 12 women already this year, which will exceed its numbers from last year. Advocates provides a violence prevention high school peer education program at Steamboat Springs High School. Moore said Advocates has seen an increase in calls related to bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault in the last few years.

If you have questions, Moore said, call Advocates at 879-2034.

"It takes a lot of courage to stay safe," Moore said. "These are probably the most courageous women I've ever met."

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