Attendees browsed auction items during a past Puttin’ on the Ritz fundraiser. [Courtesy photo]

Every 12 months, Seekhaven Family Crisis and Resource Center holds its highest-profile fundraising event of the entire year: a night of music, dancing and socialization it calls Puttin’ on the Ritz.

This year’s evening gala will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10, with the fun beginning at 5:30 p.m. The Grand Center, located at 182 N. 500 West, is once again the venue for the event.

The funds it raises fill a number of gaps not covered by state funding. Proceeds go toward its emergency shelter, crisis counseling and intervention services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Since 1990, Seekhaven has offered a number of services for domestic-violence and sexual-assault victims in Grand County and southeastern Utah. It runs a 24/7 crisis phone hotline and support and an emergency shelter for women and children. The group also offers crisis counseling; counseling referrals; legal and medical advocacy; support groups; and financial assistance.

All of Seekhaven’s day-to-day services are free to the community.

“A variety of state grants support the day-to-day services that we provide,” Seekhaven Executive Director Maddy Fisk said. “The money we raise at the Puttin’ on the Ritz event is particularly special, because these are unrestricted funds. This money does not have the same red tape that our state grants do, so we therefore have a bit more freedom to provide client services when the need is particularly high, such as (providing) hotel rooms when our shelter is at capacity.”

The event is extremely popular in Moab, and tickets sell out every year. A variety of businesses and community members sponsor this annual event.

“This is a fun opportunity to learn more about what Seekhaven does,” said Alison Ling, president of Seekhaven’s board of trustees.

“It’s a great community gathering, and it’s for a great cause,” added Utah State University-Moab Career and Technical Education Coordinator Stephanie Dahlstrom, who has attended the last few Ritz events. “There’s a whole variety of community members who attend. Seekhaven provides much-needed services in our area. We know that we’re giving to a good cause. The winter is over, and we’re about to break into spring, so it’s a time to kick up your heels, have a good time, have a good meal, see old friends you haven’t been able to see in a while.”

“Seekhaven is grateful for everyone’s support,” Ling said. “The business community has been terrific in the past, and once again they have stepped up to sponsor tables and purchase tickets.”

Event participants will be wined and dined, with catering by Atomic Lounge owner Tim Buckingham.

They will also dance the night away with the help of DJ Jason Parriott, and they can participate in the silent auction, comprised of donations from a variety of local businesses and artists.

New this year is a special art showing.

“We will have a series of education art installations throughout the Grand Center,” Fisk said, “that will give guests a better understanding of the impact that domestic violence has on our local community.”

If you are unable to secure tickets to the event, you can still help Seekhaven in a number of ways. Financial and in-kind monetary donations are always appreciated.

“We do accept clean and lightly used household items such as linens, kitchen goods, towels – anything really that you would need to start up a new residence,” Fisk said. “We accept clothing items on a limited basis, however. For furniture donations, you would want to call first to see if we have an immediate need for it.”

Annual fundraiser fills a gap for Seekhaven Family Crisis and Resource Center

What: Seekhaven Family Crisis and Resource Center presents “Puttin’ on the Ritz”

When: Saturday, Feb. 10, at 5:30 p.m.

Where: The Grand Center, 182 N. 500 West

Cost: $60 per person

Information: To purchase event tickets or make an online monetary donation, visit www.seekhaven.org. To drop off a donation check or household items, visit Seekhaven’s resource center at 81 N. 300 East

It’s a great community gathering, and it’s for a great cause.