Oasis in the Desert: the Esperanza Shelter Art Auction and Fundraiser

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SANTA FE, NM - The Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families, Inc. will host "Oasis in the Desert Silent Auction" an art auction and fundraiser at the Nedra Matteucci Gallery, Thursday, June 11, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.  The first Esperanza fundraiser was in 2007.

"Our ‘Oasis in the Desert' fundraiser will be a uniquely fun party with great entertainment, with Lisette La Paz playing guitar and singing," says Jim Leehan, Development Coordinator, Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families, Inc. "The perk is that the party raises important funds for the critical cause it supports, so we invite all Santa Feans to come out and support the shelter."

"There will be delicious food to satiate every taste bud while meandering through the amazing Matteucci gardens," adds Nancy Talarczyk, Board Member of the Esperanza Shelter. "We'd like to recognize both the Zia Diner and Vinaigrette Restaurant for their generous donations of food and wine from National Distributing Company and Southern Wine and Spirits for this crucial event."

Auction items include the original painting for the event poster by Estella Loretto, a contemporary female Native American artist, who created the painting and poster specifically for the event. Loretto designed the image by meeting with the women at the shelter and asking them what image they thought would be important to portray.

Some additional auction items include dinner at the Compound with Ali MacGraw and at the Coyote Café with Estella Loretto, an airplane ride over Santa Fe in a WWII Navy fighter plane, a bottle of 1966 Grand Cru wine valued at $1,375, five days at the Manhattan Club (56th & Broadway) in New York City and two Southwest airline tickets.

"Oasis in the Desert, which we hold every two years, is our biggest fundraiser," says Sherry Taylor, Executive Director of the Esperanza Shelter, Inc.  "We greatly need the income to continue providing all our services free of charge to the community." Ninety percent of the clients are categorized as "very low income."

"This has been one of the busiest winters we've seen," adds Taylor. "We have encountered a wave of needs. Our domestic violence shelter has been at capacity or close to capacity for months. Also, there has been a big increase in the number of people seeking services through our walk-in programs located at the administration site."

Another startling change has been an increased percentage of clients who have "very visible signs of abuse," according to Taylor.

"We're the only organization in the community that provides shelter and domestic violence services to abuse victims and their families," Taylor continues.

Recent statistics bear out Taylor's perception that there has been a dramatic increase in demand for Esperanza Shelter services:

  • "Days of care" at the shelter totaled 6,732 from April 2007 through March 2008. However, from April 2008 through March 2009, days of care reached the unprecedented level of 10,493, a 56 percent increase.
  • The shelter assisted 1861 individual clients over the past year.

Funds raised during the event will help Esperanza continue its mission of helping people live violence-free lives. Esperanza, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, provides crisis intervention, support and advocacy, emergency shelter, and counseling for victims of domestic violence and their children, as well as programs for court-ordered offenders, community education, and collaboration.

WHAT:      Oasis in the Desert: the Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families Art Auction and Fundraiser 
WHERE:    The garden at Nedra Matteucci Galleries, 1075 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM   
WHEN:      Thursday, June 11, 2009, 5:30-7:30 p.m.    
TICKETS:   $50; call 505-603-0733 for info

The Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families Committee Members are Jane Livingstone (Esperanza Board Member and Committee Chair), Pat Tuohy (Board Member), Elaine Cravens (Board Member), Ellie Edelstein (Board Member), Nancy Talarczyk (Board Member), Beverly Jimmerson, Ann Feighny, Gaye Reese, Scott Stark and Melissa Leehan.

The Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families "Oasis in the Desert" fundraiser is generously sponsored by Los Alamos National Lab, Beaver Toyota, Marshall Plan, Good Water Company, Woods Design Builders, Vinaigrette Restaurant, Zia Diner, National Distributing Co., and Southern Wine and Spirits. 


Jennifer Marshall