BY TOM BUSSELBERG
LAYTON – Get in the holiday spirit by visiting the Safe Harbor Evergreens Benefit.
It’s Nov. 18-19 at the Davis Conference Center, 1615 N. 700 West in Layton. The event is the largest fundraiser of the year for Safe Harbor, the Davis County domestic violence shelter.
Monday, Nov. 18, is a free preview and family night, 4-9 p.m. Here’s what they’ll get to experience:
Ґ The wow factor of seeing several dozen Christmas trees, or Evergreens, hence the name of the event. Those trees are decorated in every way imaginable. That means with bright ornaments, lights, fake candles, tinsel, and a lot more.
There will be a children’s corner, youth choirs from various local high schools singing music of the season, a gift boutique Р and, of course, an early visit by Santa Claus.
Tuesday, Nov. 19, is a more formal affair, tied to fund raising. This event has generally raised more than $100,000, all of it going to support shelter needs. The evening includes:
Ґ A turkey dinner with all the trimmings at 6:30 p.m. A live and silent auction will give attendees a chance to bid on myriad items donated by many businesses and groups.
Ґ Cost is $65 per person or $800 a table of 10. A table guarantees group seating and other recognition.
“By supporting this event, you can make such a big impact to help victims who seek help at the shelter,” said County Commissioner Bret Millburn.
Support can mean buying small stocking stuffers at the Monday Family Night or attending the banquet and bidding on auction items, he emphasized.
“You get a good feeling, walk away ready to start the season,” said Julie Stephenson, interim director of Safe Harbor.
A volunteer committee dedicates time to planning and executing the event almost year-round, she said.
“It’s Christmas year-round for them,” Stephenson said.
“We have 31 beds, and for the last few weeks, the need has been higher than ever,” she said.
“There are moms with kids, single women coming in. Once somebody leaves, very rarely is there a bed empty for one night, much less two,” she said.
The shelter never turns people away. Rather, it obtains help from other agencies, such as the Family Connection Center, to find a temporary place for those seeking help, Stephenson said.
The onset of colder weather only increases the need of victims and their children for shelter, she said.
Keeping the shelter open means more than having enough money to pay the power bill. It comes down to paying for diapers, baby formula, dish soap and food supplies. It’s for those daily necessities that mothers and their kids need, even if for only a few days while at the shelter, Stephenson said.
The shelter is operated as a private, non-profit organization. Donations can mean a tax deduction.
Davis County supports the shelter by awarding grant money it receives from other sources, Millburn said. The county does not directly fund any shelter services or the shelter itself.
RSVP and make payment for the dinner and auctions by visiting the website www.womensdvshelter.org and access the link evergreensfundraiser.org. You can pay by credit card. You can also RSVP by calling 801-444-3191.