SMRC: As Good As The People Who Run It; How The Fling Helps

Double your giving! A local family foundation has gratiously challenged the nonprofit with a $20,000 match for the 2015 Chocolate Lover’s Fling. Scroll to bottom of post for links to donate and make an even bigger difference.

San Miguel Resource Center, the team

San Miguel Resource Center, the team

Can you picture the face of respect, whether it’s self-respect or respect for others? Well, respect looks exactly like the faces  at the San Miguel Resource Center, the Telluride region’s only nonprofit in the business of helping people in trouble help themselves.

Each of the seven employees, who steer the Resource Center responded to a calling to do whatever it takes to promote healthy relationships by ending domestic violence and sexual assault in their own backyard.

The mission of the Resource Center is to put itself out of business by ending interpersonal violence in our extended community. According to the experts, abuse is anything from a vague feeling that something is wrong to battering – or worse.

Saturday night, February 7,  at the Telluride Mountain Village Conference Center,the Resource Center hosts its only major public fundraiser, the Chocolate Lovers’ Fling, an all-out bash featuring the region’s best professionals from venues as diverse as Mountain Village Market, Allreds, Bon Vivant, Alpino Vino, Hotel Madeline, “221,” and Krasic Cuisine, competing to create the most decadent chocolate desserts. The event includes prizes for Best Dressed and Amateur Chocolate, a silent auction, a 50/50 cash raffle, and dancing to the spins of DJ Harry.

Proceeds from the Fling represent 1/3 of the Resource Center’s annual budget. Funds raised at the party, one of the biggest parties of the winter season, are particularly important because they are unrestricted.

Unrestricted funds – as opposed to restricted funds through grants from government entities, which come with strings – allow the nonprofit to meet the ever-changing needs involved in crisis response.

Which brings us right back to the Resource Center’s staff.

Like any organization – only more so because of the nature of the business – the Resource Center is only as good as the people who run it. And these professionals are as good as it gets.

Get to know them, then show up on Saturday to support their work.

Angela Goforth has been with the agency over 16 years and is the backbone of the Resource Center.

“The amount of knowledge she has in the field of victims services is astounding,” said Co-Director Melanie Montoya.

Angela is Co-Executive Director. Her responsibilities include overseeing grants and staffing the SMRC West End office in Nucla.

Funds raised from the Fling will allow Angela to provide services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault from the West End.

Melanie Montoya is the other Co-Executive Director at the Resource Center. She is currently taking a year sabbatical, spending quality time with her nine-month-old baby girl, and her four-year-old boy.

Kara Johnson is the Prevention Educator for the Resource Center. She provides violence prevention education presentations and programming for all of the schools Pre-K-12 in the Resource Center’s service area. With several years of expertise in violence prevention under her belt, Kara is now a trusted figure among school staff and students.

Jay Yaw is the new addition to the SRMC family. Jay is the second Prevention Educator for the SMRC. As Kara’s counterpart, Jay provides presentations  to schools in Telluride, Norwood, Nucla and Paradox, educating young boys on the subjects of dating violence, healthy relationships, cultural diversity and other important life skills to help prevent violence and abuse behavior.

Funds from the fling will guaranty the continuity and sustainable growth of this indispensable program, which, from the standpoint of the prevention movement, definitely helps provide a platform for socially sustainable communities.

Deanna Tamborelli is the Bi-lingual Victim Advocate for the SMRC. With her fluency in Spanish and outstanding awareness of cultural diversity, Deanna has become a trusted person within and resource for the Latino/Hispanic community. In 2014, Deanna has served 78 Hispanic clients or 24.37% of overall served clients by the Resource Center. Deanna regularly organizes and facilitates monthly support groups for Hispanic Women, Mujeres Hispanas, and plays a hands-on role in the broader Hispanic community.

Crystal Glynn is also one of the new additions to the SRMC. As an Advocate Coordinator, Crystal will organize and facilitate the three 40-hour volunteer trainings SMRC provides annually to qualify participants to become domestic violence and sexual assault advocates in the state of Colorado. Crystal will be managing the crisis hotline, ensuring 24-hour help is always available.

Funds from the Fling will help to meet the impressive demand for Advocate Training Program, when potential volunteers (students, active community members and survivors) show up as they do in record numbers.

Rachael Cooke, as the Client Services Manager, Rachael oversees the broad array of services offered to Resource Center clients, including personal and legal advocacy, safe housing, client financial assistance, and the sexual assault response team.

The Client Services Manager position really saw the largest increase in demand for resources generated from the Fling. The SMRC served 10% more clients in 2014 over the previous year, resulting in a 43% of increase of clientele served over the last two years, more than any year in the nonprofit’s history. Client-centered discretionary funds will be applied to financial assistance, transportation (often to or from forensic exams related to sexual assault), relocation (helping victims in grave danger relocate to other cities or states), art and play therapy for teen and child victims or witnesses of violence, and technological resources to boost the organization’s efficiency in record and data management.

Based on a recent announcement, the Resource Center just announced a unique fundraising opportunity.

A local family foundation has graciously challenged the nonprofit with a $20,000 match for the 2015 Chocolate Lover’s Fling. Any new money given will be allocated toward this match up to $20,000. To date, the Resource Center has received $15,450 in matching money. Please help them reach their goal! This is an opportunity to double your giving, which doubles the Resource Center’s ability to help victims in its region.

Your financial support can help the Center continue to create positive change in the lives of victims like Rea.  

“The SMRC was my sanctuary, it was hope. It was my strength when I was weak. Without their help, love, and support for my children and me, I am not sure where I would have ended up.  The SMRC never viewed me less than a beautiful, strong, courageous person… and eventually it rubbed off and I started believing it too.” 

If you have yet to give, double your impact while helping the Resource Center reach its goal. Call 728-5842 ext. 4#, mail your donation to P.O. Box 3243, Telluride, CO 81435 or donations can be made on our webpage at www.sanmiguelresourcecenter.org.  

Visit www.sanmiguelresourcecenter.org to learn more and to purchase your Fling tickets.

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