- Saturday, July 19, 2008, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
As Advocates Against Battering and Abuse enters its 25th year of service in Routt County, Executive Director Diane Moore has taken a few minutes out of the past seven months to look back.
"I think as a society we've made some leaps and bounds in terms of statutes and myth-busting a number of different things," Moore said. "We've made some huge gains, and we still have so far to go."
Advocates offers a 24-hour crisis response line, maintains a safe house with nine beds, provides assistance with civil protection orders, trains students to be peer educators, and offers a number of other counseling and consulting services. The group plans to launch a safe exchange pilot program for children in the next couple of weeks and is in the last six months of a two-year focus program on the impact of violence on children.
"We stay pretty darn busy," Moore said of Advocates' many programs, from offering training about violence in the workplace to taking groups of mothers and daughters on Outward Bound trips.
Advocates hosts the 23rd annual Decadent Desserts fundraiser tonight at the Marabou ranch preservation subdivision west of Steamboat Springs. The event runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and features desserts from about 20 local chefs, as well as live jazz from the Andy Pratt Trio. A season pass for the Steamboat Ski Area will be up for live auction, and there will be a raffle for four other prize packages.
"I think it's just like a fun, beautiful atmosphere out at Marabou," said Advocates Volunteer Coordinator Marchele McCarthy. "People have an opportunity to come out and sample all these amazing desserts from these local chefs, and also support Advocates."
Moore said she hopes this year's fundraiser will double as a thank-you to the community, noting that donations from Snow Ball and others have been "incredibly generous."
Many of the chefs for this year's fundraiser have participated before, including Chocolate Soup's Lisa Ciraldo-Freese, who took the event's People's Choice award in 2006 and honors for Best Presentation in 2007.
"They make it fun for us, because we get to stop with our same old routine of baking the same thing every day and do some showpieces," she said.
For Moore, the popular fundraiser and 25 years of history with Advocates point to a shift in how domestic and sexual violence are perceived.
"There were no statutes or laws that protected battered women, and also our society didn't know much about it," she said of the conditions under which Advocates started.
"Twenty-five years ago women would say to me, (when they reported) 'You mean I'm not crazy?'And I think that speaks to how much it was behind closed doors," she said.
"Today, I hardly ever hear anybody say those kinds of things. So I think that's huge, and the stigma has really lifted some I think, in terms of how we as a community support this and in the number of services and resources there are."
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