Telluride's Chocolate Lovers Fling: the soft center

Telluride's Chocolate Lovers Fling: the soft center

[click “Play” to listen to Susan’s conversation with Alyssa Gitto Saunders]


Fling It does not matter where. (No, the Telluride region is not immune.) It doesn’t matter who. Sexual assault and domestic violence ignore cultural boundaries, race, even gender, although women are more often victims than men. The fact is the twin horrors are equal opportunity offenders.

Almost 20 years ago, in 1992, a group of locals formed the Telluride-based San Miguel Resource Center (then Tomboy House) as a non-profit victim services agency dealing with interpersonal violence. By 1994, Tomboy House had established a 24-hour hotline to help victims through crisis intervention, information, and referrals. Today, the San Miguel Resource Center’s menu of programs in English and Spanish includes advocacy to help clients with court services, employers, housing, transportation and community services, and using the unrestricted funds raised at the Chocolate Lovers Fling, awareness/outreach to educate local children and adults about violence and positive alternatives.

The San Miguel Resource Center’s 16th annual Chocolate Lovers Fling takes place this weekend, Saturday, February 5, 7:30 – 11:30 p.m. at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village. The soft center of the evening of costumes, dancing, a silent auction and prizes is the chocolate banquet.  created by regional professional and non-professional chefs, their decadent confections based on the 2011 theme: “Heroes and Villains.”

Chocolate’s history dates back at least 1,500 years, when the Mayans of Central America crushed cocoa beans into an unsweetened beverage. The Aztecs had a name for that beverage: xocolatl or “bitter water.” The Aztec ruler Montezuma is said to have consumed 50 or more golden goblets of the elixir every day. Today, the consensus among doctors trained in integrative medicine is that dark, organic is Montezuma’s gift to the world.  Consumed in moderation, dark chocolate is good for body and soul. Chocolate helps boost serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain that improve mood and enhance pleasure. Like red wine, certain fruits and veggies, dark chocolate is also known to be rich in antioxidants.

Bottom line: Enjoying decadent chocolate morsels at the Fling is a win win. The taste treat makes you feel better and get healthier while supporting the San Miguel Resource Center’s efforts to support healthy relationships.

To find out more about this year’s list of participating chefs, click the “play” button and listen to Fling committee member Alyssa Gitto Saunders’ interview.

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