Chocolate Lovers’ Fling: Fun-Raiser for San Miguel Resource Center, 2/9

Chocolate Lovers’ Fling: Fun-Raiser for San Miguel Resource Center, 2/9

The San Miguel Resource Center‘s Chocolate Lovers’ Fling takes place at Telluride’s historic Sheridan Opera House on Saturday, February 9, starting at 6 p.m. for VIP patrons; 7:30 for GA. Buy your ticket here now. (The price goes up at the door.)

Once upon a time those ribbons of dreams (aka movies) began with “once upon a time.” They told celluloid stories of Eros and Thanatos, many with happy (read Hollywood) endings.

Back in the day, the studios that put out these films were run by powerful men, rainmakers all, who anointed golden stars to appear on the silver screen.

(And thus began a cultural legacy of sexism that haunts The Industry today. But that is a whole other story. The story of #Me Too.)

Ah yes, the glitzy, glamorous Golden Age of Hollywood.

The Golden Age of Hollywood began in the 1920s with “The Jazz Singer” in 1927, marking the end of silent films. The era arguably lasted into the 1960s, when technology came roaring onto the scene. It was a slow start because of the Great Depression but, in the end, films provided an outlet for beleaguered audiences, so The Industry picked up a head of steam that never quit. That epoch in Hollywood laid the foundation for the American (and in some ways, the global) film industry as we know it today.

Among the superstars of the period were the likes of Fred Astaire, Doris Day, Danny Kaye, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant. Sophia Loren, Natalie Wood, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Gene Kelly, Grace Kelly, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Sean Connery, Kirk Douglas, Marilyn Monroe, Laurence Olivier, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson, Steve McQueen, Robert Wagner, Charles Chaplin, Greta Garbo, and Clint Eastwood.

The list goes on.

Channel  your inner Hepburn or Gable, anyone of the above, (or Google others here) when you attend the San Miguel Resource Center’s 24th annual Chocolate Lovers Fling, themed – thank you Ana Bowling, board member and Fling organizer – “Old Hollywood Glam”!

“We thought this year’s patrons would enjoy the chance to dress in costume or simply dress up and be glamorous for one special evening for a change. Who doesn’t love an excuse to pull out their finest, favorite formal wear – as opposed to the everyday threads we wear on the mountain or on the streets for work?”

This year, for the first time, the event moves from Mountain Village to the Town of Telluride and takes place at the historic Sheridan Opera House,  an appropriate choice for a show biz moment since t100+ year old venue which once hosted the likes of superstars Lillie Langtry and Sarah Bernhardt, over-the-top vaudeville and other theatrical happenings.

One of the best parties of Telluride’s winter season, the Fling takes place just five days before Valentine’s Day on February 9. The choice of that date is significant.

The Resource Center is the Telluride region’s only nonprofit that deals with interpersonal violence and, like High Holy Day of Lovers, it celebrates healthy relationships. In fact, the goal of the San Miguel Resource Center is to become so effective in our neck of the woods, its services will no longer be needed.

The Fling opens at 6 p.m. with a VIP reception for “Hollywood Stars.” The event includes light appetizers, chocolate, and drinks. San Miguel Resource Center staff will present information about the nonprofit’s services, which guests are invited to fund directly this year. The impact of those services should hit home when a survivor tells this select audience her story. Tickets for the VIP reception are $150.

The doors of the Opera House open for general admission at 7:30 p.m., which is also when the entertainment kicks off.

An advance ticket purchase of $65 ticket buys guests chocolate and a full evening of dancing. DeeJay Shelly (see below for more on her) will be performing a high-energy set accompanied by a vocalist and a bongo player. At the doors the ticket price goes up to $75.

Dancing continues into an After-Party downstairs in the SHOW bar with Beatrixx Kido until 1:30 a.m.

One of the participating chefs from an illustrious group to be announced in the coming week via the Resource Center’s social media channels will be honored during the evening with a People’s Choice Award.

Now celebrating 25 years of community service, the Resource Center is all about eliminating domestic violence and sexual assault in our backyard through crisis intervention, education, and social change.

The Resource Center defines abuse as anything from a vague feeling something is wrong to battering and worse – much worse.

It doesn’t matter where.

It doesn’t matter who.

Sexual assault and domestic violence ignore cultural boundaries, race, even gender – although women are more often victims than men. Fact is those twin horrors are equal opportunity offenders. And it turns out intimate partner violence is the most common form of abuse in women’s lives – much more than assault or rape by strangers or even acquaintances. So women – and yes, victims are most often women, not men, and children too – are more at risk at home than on the streets.

Proceeds from the Fling, which, with all its moving parts, demands hundreds of man hours to cobble together, represent a big chunk of the Resource Center’s fundraising budget, about one-third. Proceeds raised at the party 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 and provide better ongoing healing and empowerment opportunities for its clients.

Instead of an auction (silent or live) to raise money, this year attendees are invited to support the Resource Center by purchasing services for its clients directly:

$50 – Gas to help a client relocate to a safe place
$100 – One session of therapy for a client or their child
$500 – Legal services for a client to obtain a protection order
$1000 – Towards rent so a client can establish a safe home
$3000 – Fund all costs for one client for a year

Where the money goes?

“Again, the San Miguel Resource Center empowers and advocates for individuals affected by domestic violence and sexual assault through intervention and supportive services, while promoting social change through prevention education and community awareness,” explained executive director Riley McIntyre. “As the biggest fundraiser of the year, Fling monies are an essential component of our overall budget, although we are always working to diversify our funding streams in order to be even more sustainable.”

Each Resource Center survivor has had a different experience and therefore has different needs:

“Our services are client-directed and client-driven. Staff is here to help clients safety plan, set goals, and connect with other resources, which could include accompanying them to court or the doctor as well as obtaining legal assistance, therapy and/or housing. As advocates, we listen, we believe and we support,” added McIntrye.

In 2018, staff from San Miguel Resource Center spent 1,156 hours working with clients or students, and distributed $41,681 to clients to help them meet basic needs. Trained volunteers donated 6,833 hours of their time to ensure our helpline has 24-hour coverage or to help in-person when needed.

What’s more, this year the Center hopes to expand its services in the West End of the county and launch a peer advocacy program at the Telluride High School to “educate teens at a deeper level about healthy relationships, consent and setting boundaries so in conversations with each other they can understand what kind of relationship they deserve,” McIntyre said.

A monthly peer advocate program in the high school is also in the works.

Money raised at The Fling helps make all that possible.

Footnote on the theme of a Hollywood glam slam. Now, as fresh allegations are coming to light in every corner of the entertainment industry, we enter what might be considered a Golden Age of Hollywood reckoning. Abuse is everywhere. So is justice and retribution – and support from organizations like Telluride’s Resource Center.

More about the San Miguel Resource Center:

The Resource Center was called Tomboy House when it was first formed in 1992 by a group of locals, including Bev McTigue, Dr. Marshall Whiting, Dr. Susannah Smith, and Marsha Ewell. By 1994, Tomboy House had established a 24-hour hotline to help victims through crisis intervention and referrals. That year, the nonprofit served 28 clients. Last year that number was nearly 10x higher: in 2018, the San Miguel Resource Center served 205 clients with 238 victimizations.

These days, in addition to crisis intervention and a hotline for Telluride, Norwood, Nucla/Naturita, the SMRC provides a wide range of programs/services in English and in Spanish, including cultural outreach, advocacy to help clients with court and medical services, safe housing, preventative community education, and awareness initiatives.

More about Ana Bowling:

Ana Bowling, SMRC board member and Fling director.

Ana Bowling has been immersed in the nonprofit world for over 20 years. Her passion for giving began at a young age. Bowling’s parents instilled in her and her sisters a sense that giving back time and love really can change the lives of others. 

Bowling has been a Telluride resident for 10 years and is a Real Estate Broker now working with Bill Fandel at the Compass Real Estate Brokerage. She is also managing partner of Soirée Telluride.

Prior to living in Telluride, Bowling worked as a women’s high fashion buyer in New York. After meeting her now husband, she traded her Manolo Blahnik’s for snowshoes and made the move to Telluride, Colorado. Before that, Bowling sought out non profits in the region to figure out who she might want to support.  She immediately felt a connection to TAB was it was an obvious fit that combined Ana’s non-profit and fundraising skills with her deep knowledge of the fashion industry. 

Bowling went on to serve as the President of the Telluride AIDS Benefit and on the boards of the SMRC and One to One. She mentored for One to One and volunteered for numerous other non-profits.

Being a part of the San Miguel Resource Center is a true honor for Ana Bowling. She is motivated by both clients and staff and is inspired by the love, talent and dedication of the community that supports the nonprofit and its victims.

More about DeeJay Shelley:

DeeJay Shelley

Michelle Lee (also known as DeeJay Shelly), is one of the only international renowned female DJs. Named one of the Rising Stars of 2015 by the International Live Events Association, and featured in DJ Times Magazine, Michelle Lee is modern, exciting, and different.

Ways you can help:

Attend the Fling Saturday, February 9, 2019.

Volunteer. Become a certified advocate or simply help with the many events that take place throughout the year such as the Fling. Learn about domestic violence and sexual assault. Education is the key to dispelling myths, ending the blaming of victims and preventing future violence.

Visit to learn more about how you can help and to buy tickets to the Chocolate Lovers’ Fling.

  • Marshall
    Posted at 15:28h, 31 January

    Wow! What an excellent, well integrated article about the Fling, SMRC, the MeToo ! Movement, Hollywood history, etc, You are such a wealth of information, and you share it with such verve . Loved reading this!

    • admin
      Posted at 14:14h, 03 February

      Thanks so much Marshall. Really appreciate the feedback.

  • Ms. Kendra A. Wilcox
    Posted at 12:56h, 01 February

    Nice article!

    • Ana
      Posted at 10:42h, 05 February

      Excellent Article Susan – thank you

  • Pingback:Telluride's Resource Center | Telluride Inside... and Out
    Posted at 17:00h, 01 February

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