Puttin' on the Ritz attendees browsed through the silent auction items at a previous gala fundraiser for Seekhaven Family Crisis and Resource Center. [Courtesy photo]

You can enjoy a catered dinner by Atomic Lounge and Burger Company owner Tim Buckingham – and at the same time support a good cause when you attend Puttin’ on the Ritz, an annual fundraiser gala event that supports Seekhaven Family Crisis and Resource Center.

This year’s gala will be held on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at the Grand Center, 182 N. 500 West.

Seekhaven is a Moab-based nonprofit that offers emergency shelter and resources for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Resources include help with legal, advocacy or medical issues, and community education. Seekhaven also offers support groups for victims.

“Our nine-bed shelter is often full. We have to turn away people more than we’d like,” said Seekhaven Program Director Maddy Fisk, who will take over as executive director on July 1.

The theme for this year’s dinner is Latin, with three entrée options from which to choose – beef bajio (crepe stuffed with beef machaca topped with adobo sauce); chicken tamale with epazote cream; or pozole. Guests help themselves to whatever they want.

“You can go back as many times as you want,” Fisk said. “You can try all three entrées.”

The meal also includes appetizers, black beans, cilantro rice, salad and bread, as well as a cash bar with beer from Moab Brewery and wines provided by Castle Creek Winery.

Throughout the evening, attendees are invited to bid on a large array of silent auction items that have been donated by Grand County businesses, as well as from around the state and even outside Utah. A family pass to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and three packages for Lagoon, an amusement park in Farmington, Utah, are among the items being auctioned.

The silent auction is anonymous this year, meaning bidders receive a “number” when they get their token for the evening – bidders use the number as opposed to writing down their name. This way people won’t be deterred from bidding on a particular item if they see a friend has also placed a bid on it, Fisk said.

After dinner, Millcreek Station, a local classic rock, country and blues band, will perform with room for guests to dance the night away.

“It’s a very nice event with a good community feel, raising money for a critical cause,” Seekhaven Executive Director Jaylyn Hawks said.

Seekhaven “advocates” help victim/survivors through the various processes of obtaining shelter, getting counseling, applying for jobs, or filling out protective orders.

“We’re very creative – we help people with where they’re at,” Hawks said. “We (help people) develop plans.”

Seekhaven has introduced a new program this year – MATCH – Matching Allies Together for Connection and Healing. Approximately 15 people are awaiting background checks after attending an orientation in November to begin volunteering for the program.

“Sometimes, survivors – men and women – need a cheerleader, a hand to hold,” while transitioning away from a bad relationship, Hawks said.

AmeriCorps VISTA program development coordinator Megan List is in charge of recruiting volunteers – she is planning a second orientation in March. The program is similar to a mentoring program in which volunteers help clients with transportation, or spend time together taking walks or making dinner, for example.

People interested in volunteering can stop by Seekhaven, 81 N. 300 East, for an application, go online, or email List at megan@seekhaven.org.

“We encourage men to apply as well,” List said. “One of our matches is a male survivor with a male volunteer.”

Puttin’ on the Ritz is limited to 200 and tickets sell out every year, Fisk said. Single general admission tickets are available for $60, or you can buy a table for eight for $450 – which ends up being a discount, she said. A sponsorship package of $1,000 gets you eight tickets, plus other perks.

Dine in style – and raise money for a good cause – on Feb. 11

“It’s a very nice event with a good community feel, raising money for a critical cause.”

When: Saturday, Feb. 11, from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

Where: The Grand Center, 182 N. 500 West

Cost: General admission is $60; additional ticket packages available

Information: www.seekhaven.org or 435-259-2229

For more information, go to: www.seekhaven.org, or call 435-259-2229.