Benefit

HEART of Taos throws holiday gala

Benefit supports mission of helping homeless women and children

By Yvonne Pesquera
socialmedia@taosnews.com
Posted 12/6/18

HEART of Taos (Hope, Empowerment, Advocacy, Respect and Transitional Housing) will host its third annual holiday benefit Friday (Dec. 7) at Old Martina's Hall, 4140 State Road 68 in …

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Benefit

HEART of Taos throws holiday gala

Benefit supports mission of helping homeless women and children

Posted

HEART of Taos (Hope, Empowerment, Advocacy, Respect and Transitional Housing) will host its third annual holiday benefit Friday (Dec. 7) at Old Martina's Hall, 4140 State Road 68 in Ranchos de Taos. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. The dancing and live auction start at 7:30 p.m.

"This is a party," said Kathryn Herman, HEART of Taos founder and board president. "People get up and dance. The energy is really positive."

HEART of Taos is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides services to help women and children facing involuntary homelessness.

"The vibe is very welcoming. This is more of a holiday party than a nonprofit event," said Kimberly Park, executive director of HEART of Taos.

Indeed, Herman noted that the board and staff members put on an annual benefit with polish and pizzazz. For example, the tables are formally dressed with tablecloths, cloth napkins and centerpieces. The dinner is a sit-down meal, not a buffet, served by Old Martina's Hall trained staff.

"This event is super critical now because there is a housing need for winter. We have (to have) our funding be very flexible for emergency hotel stays, so we can fill in the gaps where other agencies cannot," Park explained.

Susan Dilger, an advisory board member for HEART of Taos, is master of ceremonies of the event. She will introduce musicians Michael Hearne & South by Southwest, Bill Hearne, and the Rifters, who are all playing for the third year in a row.

"Michael liked Susan so much that he invited her to emcee and introduce the bands at the Big Barn Dance," said Herman.

The music is sponsored by the Taos County Association of Realtors. Judy Buck (formerly of Coldwell Banker Lota Realty) is the board vice president and was instrumental in garnering this support.

For any music lover interested in going to Old Martina's just for the dancing that night, tickets are available at the door.

Gallery owner Robert Parsons will call the live auction. The items include artworks from Ed Sandoval, Thom Wheeler, Marc Asmus and J.D. Challenger. Other specialty items include a weeklong cabin stay at the luxury Bresada Ranch in Bend, Oregon and spa package at Sunrise Springs Spa Resort in Santa Fe.

One of the many highlights of the evening is the raffle drawing for a weeklong vacation for two (airfare included) anywhere in the Americas. Only 1,000 tickets will be sold. Purchase of raffle tickets is not considered a donation and is not tax deductible.

"We'll have the raffle drawing at 10:30 p.m. You could win a trip and go anywhere, like British Columbia to Patagonia!" said Herman.

The HEART Resource Center is located at 1353 Paseo del Pueblo Sur (south of the VA Outpatient Clinic). Its hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. After an initial intake process, women rely on the resource center as a safe, warm place. They have free access to the internet and Microsoft Office on computer stations, job referrals and a free boutique of clothes, shoes and hygiene products.

On a broader basis, the staff focuses on homelessness prevention by providing critical support services through individualized case management.

"There are critical needs for women and their families in Taos. These are our neighbors and our families, and we(sic) need an organization like us to support them. We want to be flexible, especially in this community, where so many people are living differently. We don't want to discourage that -- but to live safely," said Park.

Group and individual ticket prices are available from $25 and up at heartoftaos.org/3rd-annual-heart-for-the-holidays/.

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