Gala celebrates three decades of service

By From page B2 | September 04, 2013

What: 30th anniversary Season for Change Gala

Who: The Center for Violence-free Relationships

Where: Mercedes-Benz of El Dorado Hills, Post Street in El Dorado

When: Saturday, Sept. 7, 6 to 9:30 p.m.

Cost: Tickets are $75 per person or $125 for two

Information: 530-626-1450

What began more than 30 years ago in a tiny house in Placerville as an emergency shelter for desperate women trying to escape a violent domestic situation has evolved in the last three decades into a far-reaching enterprise that extends a hand of hope to entire families.

Formerly the El Dorado Women’s Center, The Center for Violence-free Relationships is proud and honored to invite the public to help celebrate more than three decades of remarkable success during the 30th anniversary Season for Change Gala set for Saturday, Sept. 7, at Mercedes-Benz of El Dorado Hills.

Guests at the semi-formal affair, always eagerly anticipated on the Western Slope of the county, will be treated to a gourmet feast by Diane Wilkinson Catering, accented by tempting wines from some of the area’s premier wineries.

An astonishing list of auction prizes is on tap, including an Invisalign teeth straightening system valued at nearly $6,000 donated by Dr. Ike Rahimi of Placerville.

Also sure to brighten that smile is a Cuban dinner for eight, trips to exotic ports of call including Cabo San Lucas, a fall retreat in Squaw Valley valued at $3,500, catered private dinners and a Napa Valley escape.

Another unique auction item this year is dinner for seven at El Dorado Hills Fire Station 87 prepared by Chief Dave Roberts and some of his firefighters (who promise not to burn anything).

The live auction will feature David Sobon of David Sobon Auctions.

A raffle will rival the auction action, with guests having a chance to win such local offerings as a night’s stay at the Albert Shafsky House in Placerville, artwork by local talents, food baskets and much more, all at a bargain price of $5 per raffle ticket.

Complementing the always delightful dinners served up by Diane Wilkinson’s capable staff will be the finest from these local wineries: Arrastra Vineyard, Clos du Lac Cellars, Holly’s Hill Vineyards, Madroña Vineyards, Sierra Vista Winery, Terra d’Oro Winery, Vino Noceto and Wofford Acres Vineyard.

Sponsors of this year’s Season for Change Gala are Sierra Pacific Mortgage, Blue Shield of California, Hanson McClain, El Dorado Savings Bank, DST Output and Mechanics Bank.

Cocktail attire is the order of the evening, with the special event running from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person or $125 for two.

John Moalli, board president for the Center and chair of the sponsorship committee, invites those interested in sponsoring a table or half-table to contact the event coordinator, Julie Sena, at 530-626-1450 or 916-939-4464. Tables are limited for this very special 30th anniversary gathering.

El Dorado County’s Center for Violence-free Relationships is recognized locally, regionally and even nationally for its innovative, groundbreaking programs and highly successful efforts in helping families caught in the painful web of domestic violence.

It is dedicated to building strong, healthy family relationships and communities free from sexual assault and domestic violence through education, advocacy and unique services, such as the Center’s fledgling Equine Therapy program and numerous others.

Although the organization originally focused almost exclusively on helping battered women escape dangerous home environments, in 1981 it shifted to providing additional services that sought to go to the root of the problem: domestic violence and sexual assault. Individual counseling and education and support groups were offered and legal services were provided free of charge for victims.

The Center was given an Outstanding Achievement Award for Community Service in 1984 by the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, and three years later was honored by the State Bar of California for its legal program that assists battered women and sexual assault survivors in obtaining child custody, divorces and temporary restraining orders.

Over the years, the Center has continued to be recognized and honored for its ongoing achievements and programs — and with community support, it appears that hope for those in need remains firmly in place.

For more information about this year’s Season for Change Gala call 530-626-1450.

Pat Lakey

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