Steamboat Springs Those with a sweet tooth will indulge in the spoils of competition after local chefs compete for the best dessert dish presentation on Saturday to benefit Advocates Against Battering and Abuse.
For the 17th year, Advocates presents Decadent Desserts, the group's largest, and most important, fund-raiser.
About 25 chefs in the valley will whip up their best dessert dishes and present them to David Beckwith, pastry chef and instructor at the Culinary Institute in Denver.
"Some chefs take this really serious," said Deb Canfield, Advocates office manager and event organizer.
After the winner is chosen, the event ticket holders get to do their own taste testing. The desserts are cut into small pieces so people can eat as much as they want.
Local businesses also donated gift certificates and various items for an auction at the event.
"It's really just a social gathering," Canfield said.
It's also an important fund-raiser for a local organization that plays an essential, yet sometimes quiet, role in the community.
So far this year, Advocates has helped 40 victims of sexual assault cases in the Yampa Valley.
"That's more than we've ever had," Advocates Director Diane Moore said.
It shows this is a growing problem in the area, creating a growing need to counsel the victims. The problem is one many don't like to think about it.
"Our agency is responding to that need," Moore said.
Advocates also helps victims of domestic violence and offers its counseling services to those who have lost loved ones in car accidents or other tragic incidences.
Though Advocates has provided this service out of Steamboat Springs for 18 years, some people in the community who haven't come in contact with the group may overlook its existence, or even the issues it deals with especially when it comes to sexual assault issues.
"I think it's still a difficult topic to think about and talk about," Moore said.
Decadent Desserts has been a good way for Advocates to gain attention in the community. It's important, and greatly appreciated, to have the chefs and the businesses donate items for the dessert competition and auction. Having such strong support for the fund-raiser helps Advocates gain more attention and generate the funding needed to run the nonprofit agency.
Most of Advocates' budget comes from various local, state and federal grants. However, about $20,000 needs to be raised outside of the grant money each year to ensure there is enough money to meet the needs in the community.
Tickets for Decadent Desserts can be bought at All That Jazz, Off the Beaten Path, Cantafio's and at the door. They cost $20 for adults and $10 for children.
The event is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Sheraton ballroom.