Valentine's Day Gala and Virtual Auction
Gabe Jimenez, Holly Llewelyn, Teresa Tubbs and Nancy Asay prepare lunch for the Crisis Center’s Valentine’s Gala last Friday
On Friday of last week, the Oneida Crisis Center and a number of volunteers hosted a drive through version of the Valentine’s Gala at the Senior Center. For the second year in a row, the event was held as a drive-through event due to health considerations. The event, which cooked and distributed 150 hot meals as part of a their yearly major fundraising event, was a massive success. The virtual auction, which began on Friday, ended on Tuesday.
A number of people were involved in the event, including the Crisis Center Board and staff, as well as a number of other contributors. According to the Crisis Center’s Marcia Stocks, “At this point, it’s a pretty well-oiled machine.” Drivers who visited the Senior Center to collect their meals during the hour it ran experienced average wait times of about five minutes, which was certainly worth it. The meal featured roast beef, prepared by Stephanie Crowther, as well as salads, barbeque chicken, potatoes from the Iron Door Smokehouse, rolls from Nancy and Buddy Asay, and a white cake dessert courtesy of the Higleys.
The auction, which began online later the same evening, immediately began bringing in bids. By Tuesday, the items had been heavily bid upon. As of Tuesday morning, the total amount raised through the auction was $6,334 dollars. Funds raised from the event go directly to the clients of the Crisis Center, rather than any administrative or executive overhead, and help keep the Center and Carol’s Pantry running during the year. The Gala is one of the largest single fundraising events of the year for the Center, and Teresa Tubbs stated positively that “It’s going great so far!”
The Crisis Center also included a sponge with the slogan “And you don’t even have to do the dishes!” printed on it, a box of chocolates, and an ice scraper with the meals.
In addition to the Crisis Center staff, Board members, volunteers, and other helpers, the Crisis Center was also supported by the Senior Center, who hasn’t charged for the use of their kitchen facilities for the last two years. Typically, the gala involves an in-person dinner and silent auction. Next year, the Center fully plans to return to an in-person event again, with the possible inclusion of a Valentine’s dance.
February is also Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. The Crisis Center will participate in this national month of education with an informational table set up at Malad High School on the 24th of the month.
April is Sexual Violence Awareness month, and the Center will be bringing professional speaker Jessie Funk to address parents, students, and anyone else interested about issues related to the increasingly relevant subject of sexual violence both within and outside relationships. Funk holds degrees in psychology and theatre, and is pursuing a doctorate in Social Work. She has been speaking as a keynote speaker for over 15 years.