With new snow falling like confetti from the sky, it’s the perfect time to party. So get geared up for the San Miguel Resource Center’s Chocolate Lover’s Fling happening this Saturday night, February 2nd. The fling, which is in its 18th year, helps to raise over a third of the Resource Center’s annual operating budget, providing invaluable services to the community such as a 24hr Crisis Hotline and a School-Based Prevention Education.

Still, it’s easy to get blasé about fundraisers, especially in a town that’s packed with as many non-profits as it has ski runs. Here are a few reasons why you need to carry that powder buzz straight on through to the weekend and party it up at the fling.

1.    The Theme: Vegas Baby. There’s nothing that quite throws off the shackles of winter like sporting a little gold (aside from hopping a plane to Fiji, but let’s get real). This year, you can go Vegas all the way with a little help from local artists and shops. According to Pip Kenworthy of  Pip’s Fine and Funky Consignments, her store is packed right now with “stuff for a fun party”. She’s got wigs and boas, sequin dresses and fish net stockings. She’s even got fake eyelashes. For men eager to wear something other than ski pants, she’s got some great tuxes and gold chains. Likewise, Kristin Holbrook of Two Skirts has a great collection of glittery outfits and high heels for the Fling, much of it marked down 25-50% off.headresses

Stepping up the Vegas theme one notch further is Debbie Madaris, whose designer headdresses have been selling out at festivals and events around town. Using sequins and feathers, Madaris creates fascinators (don’t worry I had to google it too) that you can pop on your head for an instant Vegas-Baby look.  “The headdresses,” says Madaris, “make anyone look like a diva.” Headdresses run between $20-45. Contact Debbie Madaris @ for more info. There’s a cash prize at the fling for the best dressed.

2.    The Gaming Tables: What’s Vegas without a little gambling? This year the Fling is going to have professional gaming tables, featuring poker, black jack, craps, and roulette. The prizes will vary but the experience is guaranteed to be unique. Wearing your sparkle baubles is one thing. Sitting down for a round of cards will carry you to Vegas faster than a double feature of Hangover flicks.

3.    The Professional Chocolate Contest: The fling is not only about games, fabulous costumes, and dancing. There’s supreme chocolate to be tasted both from the professionals and the amateurs. This year features professional desserts from Floradora, 221, Tel-Ski, The Butcher and the Baker, and many more.

images4.    The Sharon Shuteran Amateur Chocolate Contest: This year, the amateur contest has been renamed to honor Sharon Shuteran, town’s former judge and chocolate connoisseur who passed away this spring. Shuteran was a great supporter of the San Miguel Resource Center. Baking exceptional desserts for the fling was just one of the ways she contributed her time and love for the organization. Renaming the amateur contest in her name was “an easy decision for the board to make,” says co-executive director Melanie Montoya. “Sharon was such an amazing asset to the community and to this organization. It’s the least we can do to honor her wonderful contributions.” Amateur bakers need to contribute at least 50 pieces of a dessert. Contact Natalie Binder @ 708.7742 / if you’re interested in donating.

5.    The Silent Auction and the 50/50 Raffle: Guests to the fling will also have the option to bid on a wide variety of silent auction items and to participate in the 50/50 raffle. Winners of the raffle win half the cash (last year about $1300); the other half goes to the Resource Center. For the auction, there’s everything from a villa in Italy to wellness classes from Jill Burchmore to Mountainfilm tickets up for grabs. All of the proceeds benefit the Resource Center.

6. The Dancing: Stretch those powder legs and step into Vegas for the night. DJ Harry will be spinning tunes, and this year, there’s a special elevated VIP dancing floor for those of you who are ready to bust out some moves. The San Miguel Resource Center’s Chocolate Fling is a great excuse to keep the party going.

The Resource Center’s 18th annual Chocolate Lovers’ Fling takes place this Saturday, February 2nd at the Telluride Conference Center, Mountain Village, from 7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. Tickets to the Fling are $50 for a single; $90 for a couple. VIP tickets are $125. All tickets are available at Two Skirts or through San Miguel Resource Center. Get there early if you want to try the chocolate!

Click on this podcast with Co-Executive Director, Melanie Montoya to here more about the fling.

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