Judy Demers flies across the finish line of 2009’s Colorado Ski For Women event at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center ahead of her husband, Tiger. This year’s fundraiser starts with registration at 9 a.m. Sunday, and skiing and snowshoeing begin at 12:30 p.m.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Judy Demers flies across the finish line of 2009’s Colorado Ski For Women event at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center ahead of her husband, Tiger. This year’s fundraiser starts with registration at 9 a.m. Sunday, and skiing and snowshoeing begin at 12:30 p.m.

Advocates fundraiser enters its 11th year in Steamboat

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— In the past week, Advocates Building Peaceful Communities Executive Director Diane Moore has seen 10 new clients — or survivors, as she calls them — come through the door.

The needs of domestic and sexual violence victims are many: anything from a safe place to sleep and medical care to advocacy in the justice system and counseling.

Advocates, a local nonprofit that is 28 years old, provides all of that.

“Thinking about the stories and their needs and safety, they’re the ones that have the courage,” Moore said. “It’s an honor to be able to provide services to courageous women and children and men.”

But it’s not possible without support from the local community through donations and volunteering.

The 11th annual Ski for Women fundraiser this weekend is just one of many ways the community comes out to support the organization year after year.

The family fun day is a leisurely snowshoe or cross-country ski around the Steamboat Ski Touring Center.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the group heads out on the trails at 12:30 p.m. Participation is by donation, and entrants offering $30 or more will get a few free gifts from SmartWool and other local sponsors.

The theme this year is “Ski Town Toons,” and Moore said many regular participants take the costume suggestion very seriously — and with good reason: The winner of the costume contest earns a season pass to the Ski Touring Center.

After skiing and snowshoeing, the Yampa Valley Boys will play a live show, and there will be a silent auction with items ranging from massages to Web services.

“I think this is a neat event because it’s a family event, and it can cost as little as you want, and you can still come and support Advocates,” Moore said.

Moore said funding has been dwindling in the past few years with shrinking state budgets and more competition for grants. The organization has been doing more with less, however, and hasn’t cut any services.

Although the number of clients has held steady at about 300 per year, Moore said the number of shelter nights tripled in 2011 to 1,300 nights of stay, demonstrating the need for domestic violence services in Routt County still is growing.

“Our community is incredibly generous to all of the various causes and nonprofits,” Moore said. “I think overall, our community understands and knows that we have those kinds of issues, like domestic and family violence, just like anywhere else.”

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