Advocates to host sweet benefit

Decadent Desserts fundraiser to include treats from 20 chefs

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If you go

What: 24th annual Decadent Desserts, a benefit for Advocates Building Peaceful Communities

When: 6 to 8:30 p.m. today

Where: St. Cloud Mountain Club, in Torian Plum Plaza

Cost: $40 includes desserts, appetizers and wine; tickets are available at All That Jazz, Alpine Bank and through the Advocates office

Call: 879-2034

— About 20 restaurants, caterers and private chefs will contribute sweets to the 24th annual Decadent Desserts, a fundraiser for Advocates Building Peaceful Communities.

The dessert tasting, which also features a raffle and a live auction, is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. today at St. Cloud Mountain Club in Torian Plum Plaza. A $40 ticket includes appetizers, one drink ticket for wine and a wide array of desserts.

Formerly Advocates Against Battering & Abuse, Advocates Building Peaceful Communities is a community organization that runs a 24-hour response hot line for victims of any crime; offers a residential shelter, counseling and support groups; and runs several outreach programs for education and prevention of crime.

Proceeds from today's Decadent Desserts will go toward new programming in sexual assault outreach, said Advocates Executive Director Diane Moore.

"We've probably had : perhaps 20 to 25 survivors come to us just this year, and that's pretty significant," Moore said. The new outreach programming got its start earlier in the summer and will include several approaches for awareness and prevention, including working with teenagers in local high schools, Moore said. The program has received some local government funding, she said. Advocates also relies on state and federal grants and community donations.

"I write up to 15 or more grants a year, and some of the federal and state grants require a match, so fundraising is something that's really critical for us getting federal money," Moore said.

In addition to ticket proceeds, Decadent Desserts will raise money with a raffle and a live auction. Raffle items include a spa package, sporting event tickets and restaurant gift certificates, said Advocates Case Manager Rachel Hirning. Live auction items include a 2009-10 ski pass. Trevor G. Potter will provide live music during the event.

"It's just a great way for the community to come together and support restaurants and for people to showcase their talents," Hirning said, adding that some chefs "really treat it as a Food Network event."

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