Resource Center: As Good As Its Staff; How the Fling Helps

Resource Center: As Good As Its Staff; How the Fling Helps

San Miguel Resource Center’s Chocolate Lovers’ Fling is a fun-raiser which includes chocolate treats by local chefs, a silent auction, music, a raffle, and cash prizes for Best Dressed and more. Tickets in advance, $45, available at Two Skirts in Telluride and online at VIP Tickets are $150 and include hors d’oeuvres,  private bar and lounge, and other extras. Event takes place Saturday, February 6, 7:30 – 11:30 p.m. at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village.

From left to right: Tai Davis-Kleppinger, Mandy Miller, Jay Yaw, Angela Goforth, Deanna Tamborelli, Crystal Glynn, the faces of the San Miguel Resource Center.

From left to right: Tai Davis-Kleppinger, Mandy Miller, Jay Yaw, Angela Goforth, Deanna Tamborelli, Crystal Glynn, the faces of the San Miguel Resource Center.

Please take a minute to close your eyes and picture the face of respect, whether it’s self-respect or respect for others.

Let me help: Respect looks exactly like the faces at Telluride’s San Miguel Resource Center, the region’s only nonprofit in the business of helping people in trouble help themselves and regain self-love.

Each of the seven staffers who steer the Resource Center responded to an inner calling: Do whatever it takes to promote healthy relationships by ending domestic violence and sexual assault in their own backyard, the Telluride region, and by doing so, fulfill the nonprofit’s mission 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. In 2015, the Resource Center served 219 clients as follows: 128 domestic victims of whom 24 (adult and children) experienced sexual assault; 67 experienced other forms of assault, murder, suicide, stalking, child physical abuse. There were nearly 2000 telephone call contacts to the Center; about 1100 in-person contacts. Sixty-eight clients were Hispanic; 56 came from the West End. Twelve adults and children were safe-housed for a total of 40 nights.

Overall, in 2015, the nonprofit experienced exciting changes from on-boarding a new ED to expanding cultural outreach and legal advocacy services and offering new services.

“We have seen an increase in clients seeking a broader array of services, such as assistance with immigration, housing, legal, mental health, and medical resources,” explained Executive Director Mandy Miller. “We have also seen clients coming back for ongoing services, and for longer sessions. This is great news, as it means people are seeking to improve all areas of their lives and not only in times of crisis. In addition, the Resource Center welcomed several new staff in the past year.”

Fling JPG

On Saturday night, February 6, 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 The Peaks, Bijou at Lumiere, Alpine Infusions, Steamies, Bon Vivant, competing to create decadent chocolate desserts. The event includes prizes for Best Dressed and Amateur Chocolate, a silent auction, a 50/50 cash raffle, a wine toss, and dancing to the spins of dueling DJs. This year’s theme is the “Roaring Twenties.”

Proceeds from the Fling represent a major chunk of the Resource Center’s annual budget. Funds raised at the party, one of the biggest bashes 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 a short leash – 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, February 6, to support their work:

Executive Director Mandy Miller:

Mandy Miller joined the Resource Center as the new Executive Director in September, 2015. A Colorado native, she came from Denver with a career in mental health and nonprofit management.

“From Day 1, I was thoroughly impressed by our dedicated, driven and passionate staff, as well as by the immensely supportive community surrounding our Center. SMRC has a long history of meaningful work in the Telluride community that goes far beyond the mission of eliminating domestic violence and sexual assault. From helping undocumented residents through the visa process, and connecting families with any resource needed (housing, food, school, dentist, etc.), to addressing issues such as suicidality and substance use, we truly are a RESOURCE center. If we can’t offer the services ourselves, we will find someone who can…and then we will follow-up to make sure your needs are met. It’s all about relationships, compassion, and respect. Feelings like shame, guilt, and fear just can’t survive when they meet with people who genuinely care.”

Since arriving on the scene, Mandy has trained local law enforcement on Trauma Informed Care, increased salaries for all staff, creating a wellness program to promote staff self-care. The Resource Center also launched some fun new events such as the Ginger Bridge Building Competition with the Pinhead Institute in December.

“I am so very proud of the great work I see being done at the Center each day and am grateful for the opportunity to lead SMRC into this next phase of growth.”

Director of Grants and Finance, Angela Goforth:

Angela has worked for the Resource Center for 17 years. In her current job, Director of Grants and Finance, her primary roles are to secure and report on all federal, state, and local grants, as well as fiscal management.

“Over the last year, I successfully increased grant awards by more than 24%, ensuring financial stability and agency growth. The Resource Center is fortunate to be one of the most diversely funded organizations of its kind in the state. We are supported by grants, private donors, and fundraising events. The Chocolate Lovers’ Fling is our biggest event of the year, so come on out and enjoy…knowing that you are directly supporting a meaningful organization in our community.”

Client Services Manager, Deanna Tamborelli:

As the Client Services Manager, Deanna’s overall goal is to make sure all clients receive the best services available. She does her job by getting staff adequately trained on the various types of supports the Resource Center can offer; coordinating and collaborating with community partners; and developing best practices.

As a bilingual advocate, Deanna continues to work directly with survivors of violence, English and Spanish speaking.

“One of my biggest accomplishments of the last year actually came down to a very small moment. A client came in to thank me for my support of her family. When I replied that it was no problem, the client replied, ‘You were the only one who asked us if we were okay.’ Sometimes small things make the biggest difference.”

Bilingual Advocate, Claudia Garcia:

The newest staff person at SMRC started in October, 2015. A Mexican native, Claudia is a bicultural and bilingual.

“Approximately one-third of SMRC clients identify as Hispanic and I am here to assist that community with any needs that must be addressed. Among the services I provide are legal advocacy, translation, and counseling. I also offer resources around daily living needs such as transportation, housing, and immigration. Several Resource Center clients have noted how much they appreciate having a bicultural staff person to talk to, because it feels like ‘family.’”

Volunteer Coordinator, Crystal Glynn:

Crystal’s job is to coordinate volunteers for events and fundraisers. She also oversees the staffing of the Resource Center’s 24-hour crisis helpline, filling over 500 volunteer hours each month. Along with managing our advocate program, Crystal works directly with clients and other members of the Telluride community seeking the Center’s services.

“Over the last year, I designed and launched an online advocate training program, which cut down on in-class hours for training advocates, making the free course available to more people and easier to participate.”

Female Prevention Educator, Tai Davis-Kleppinger:

As Female Prevention Educator – and yes, she has a male counterpart, Jay, because having a woman and a man makes for more effective role-modeling – at San Miguel Resource Center, Tai visits classrooms throughout San Miguel County and the West End, teaching students a range of important life skills such as conflict resolution, emotion management, bullying prevention, healthy teen dating relationships, and more. With the youth of our  extended community, Tai is working to create the next generation of non-violence and acceptance.

“I also facilitated a healthy relationships workshop at Ridgway High School and co-facilitated a Sexual Assault Prevention course for the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. Recently, I facilitated a group for fifth and six grade girls in which they were asked to write about one another’s strengths on creatively designed name-tags. Afterwards, one of the girls said, ‘Miss Tai, the stuff others said about me really surprised me and made me smile. I am going to keep it in my locker to remember all of the good things about ME.’”

Male Prevention Educator, Jay Yaw:

As Male Prevention Educator. Jay provides support, leadership, and life skills to all students preschool through grade 12, particularly males. He and Tai engage regularly in a wide variety of topics, from healthy personal boundaries to frustration tolerance to being an up-stander. Jay is also trained to recognize and report abuse of any kind.

“In the past year, I have personally seen positive change in the way students treat one another. Even their language includes more respectful and assertive statements. To hear from a mother, father, teacher, student, or friend they appreciate what we do is one of the best things about my work. Affirmation helps keep me doing what I do. Thank you all for your continued support.”

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