Monday, October 29, 2018

30th Annual Tahoe Chocolate & Wine Festival

Welcome to the 30th Annual Tahoe Chocolate & Wine Festival

We thank you for supporting one of our community's most important fundraising event.  Your generosity helps fund vital programs such as a 24-hour crisis line; Mt. Rose Safe Hose; support services for victims of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and child abuse; and violence prevention and education to local schools, businesses, and community organizations.

Here is a list of the live auction items up for bid on November 2nd!

Item #1

 Lakefront Bliss


We know that any season in Lake Tahoe is the best.  But with Winter and the Holiday right around the corner this package is perfect for a Winter staycation for you and that special someone. It would also make the perfect gift for a loved one that would benefit from a special Lake Tahoe retreat .  
This package includes 2 nights in 'Sapphire Vista' a1 bedroom apartment/in-law unit located 1.3 miles from the luxury of Tahoe City restaurants and shops in the exclusive neighborhood of Lake Forrest.  This cozy 450 SF lake front apartment features clean, modern lines which create a soothing Sierra escape. All seasons, 'Sapphire Vista' mandates F-U-N, while the cozy and peaceful interior with feather-down blankets promise comfort and relaxation.  Enjoy dinner at esteemed restaurant Wolfdale's which uses 'Cuisine Unique' to describe its food and restaurant personality.  Includes two all day adult lift tickets to Northstar-at-California ski resort and 1 demo package at local Willard's Sports.

Restrictions: Available December 1, 2018 - October 31, 2019. Not valid major holidays.  Availability is accessed through the VRBO calendar.  VRBO# 294675.

Item #2 

Semi-Custom Skis and Winter Bling

The resorts are starting to open and winter is coming! Be ready for a great season on a new pair of Praxis Skis. Handcrafted right here in Incline Village - Praxis skis are constructed by inspired skiers who take pride in producing the perfect ride for a variety of individual needs and styles. The winner will get to choose one of these 4 classic styes - GPO (Freeride ski), Backcountry , SND or 9D8. 

These special skis are paired with a beautiful 14 Karat white gold and diamond Slalom Fresh Tracks pendant that was designed by Janet Brady, a local Jewelry designer who specializes in custom design and re-design. It has .09 carats of white diamonds and is part of Janet’s exclusive “Fresh Tracks Collection”. This piece was inspired by Janet’s two sons when they competed in Ski racing as young boys. Janet loved watching her boys race and wanted to create a Jewelry Collection that captured the beauty of the “Fresh Tracks” they would leave behind in the snow. This specific piece from the collection was inspired by Slalom turns. This elegant and unique pendant is sure to impress any person who loves winter sports and Jewelry. You can find more from this collection at Janet’s local retail store: Double Diamond Jewelry. Double Diamond Jewelry is located at the beautiful Resort at Squaw Creek in the heart of Squaw Valley. 

Item #3 

$5,000 Laser Skin Enhancement Package

Donated by Matthew and Dr. Rebecca Gelber at Tahoe Aesthetic Medicine in Incline Village.  Dr. Gelber brings a strong interest in the issues facing women and men who are motivated to enhance both their inner wellness as well as their outer.  Dr. Gelber uses the revolutionary Max Series exclusive laser treatments that help reduce the signs of aging and stress of high altitude weather on skin.

After consulting with Dr. Gelber and deciding what your priorities are (age spots, dun damage, rosacea, spider veins, acne scars, wrinkles, or textural issues), you can decide on a plan that will best address concerns.  The winner of this auction item will receive $5,000 credit towards any of the laser skin improvement treatments provided by Dr. Gelber.

Item #4

Vail Epic Ski Adventure

Vail Resorts and Epic Promise are pleased to support Tahoe SAFE Alliance and their work in creating safe families, schools and community. The lucky winner will enjoy an Epic ski weekend including 2 nights lodging at the Lodge at Vail.  
Lodge Vail is Vail at its iconic.  This intimate, alpine boutique hotel evokes the charm, warmth, and old-school allure of Europe’s finest chalets.  The first hotel in Vail, it remains the cornerstone of Vail Village, located just steps from Gondola One.  Lodge Vail boasts Vail’s first pool, featuring two side-by-side, in-ground hot tubs with fire pits, surround sound and full-service bar. Perfect for warming up on cold winter nights.
Package includes:
2 nights lodging for two at Lodge at Vail
Two 2-day lift tickets
Two 2-day Demo rental packages
$100 towards dinner at Tavern on the Square
$50 towards breakfast at Cuccina Rustica
Two spa packages at Lodge at Vail Spa

Item #5

Monterey Retreat - 7 Nights on The Bay

 Location, location, location.  Forest meets seashore in this two-bedroom, two-bathroom home which is perfect for watching city lights and sailing boats, pines and deer. Situated on a hill in the Monte Vista area, the living room, kitchen, dining room, master bedroom and deck afford views of the sea and forest. Freeway access is immediate. Del Monte Shopping Center is a 10-minute walk away. Historic downtown is a little farther. Beach access is a  short drive or a hearty walk. Regardless, you will be in the perfect location to enjoy all that Monterey, Carmel and the Central Coast have to offer.

This 1350 square foot home sleeps four in one Queen and one King-sized bed, with high quality linens and new mattresses. There is room for one or two small guests in a bonus room with French doors and a trundle bed. Two large bathrooms, both with showers and one with a claw foot lounging tub, insure privacy and comfort. Lounge chairs take relaxation from indoors to outdoors. This truly is a gorgeous property with huge windows, fantastic views of the forest, city lights and Monterey bay, and privacy.

Valid for up to 7 nights. Includes tickets to Monterey Bay Aquarium and a take out lunch from Old Fisherman's Grotto. 
 Restrictions: Valid any day  December 1, 2018 - October 31, 2019 with the exception of the month of March.  Availability is accessed through the VRBO calendar. VRBO #513119.

Item #6

Personal Chef for A Night 

Private dinner party for 8-10 people.  Let Chef  Yorkey plan your next dinner party.  Passed Appetizers?  No problem. Sit down 4-course meal.  We got it!  Chef  Yorkey uses only the freshest and locally sourced product.  He will meet with you and help plan the perfect menu.  He can also work with you to pair wines that will be purchased or from your private collection.  Dinner will take place in the privacy of your home.  Package includes food, set-up, servers and clean-up.  

Restrictions: Does not include table service, flowers or decorations.  Not valid major holidays.  Must be redeemed by October 1, 2019.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Healthy Pet Awareness Extends to Violence and Abuse

It is easy to lose sight of the broader picture and easy to overlook the fact that animal abuse and domestic violence are closely related; we tend to disassociate the fact the pets are close members of our families and often the most vulnerable. Aggressive and cowardly acts to the most vulnerable individual of the family, whether it is two legged or four legged, is a huge sign of power and control. Killing, harming or threatening to harm beloved pets are weapons used by domestic abusers to manipulate victims into silence. A startling survey revealed that more than 70% of survivors stated that their abuser threatened, killed or injured their pet out of revenge or control.

It is very common for a victim of domestic violence to report that their beloved pet has been hurt or killed by their abuser. Additionally, in many cases victims who are fleeing a domestic violence relationship are forced to stay to protect their pets or must choose between their own safety or their pet’s safety. In a recent study, 34% of women surveyed had delayed leaving.  Victims describe being emotionally attached to their pets and the thought of leaving them behind because they couldn’t care for them is unimaginable. 

The Animal Welfare Institute, an agency that focuses on advocating and fighting to change policy to protect animals, in a recent study reported that pet abuse was identified as one of the four significant predictors for Intimate Partner Violence.  Moreover, the study found that batterers who abuse pets used more forms of violence and demonstrated greater use of controlling behaviors.

And then there are the children. Children will register everything they see and hear and when they witness their pets being hurt it is registered in their delicate brains.  More shocking, the behaviors that our children witness and learn from people who hurt pets is more likely to be expressed through their behavior in school and as adolescents and adults. Children learn that it is okay to take out their frustration on those more vulnerable, including their pets. 

It is important to understand the relationship between animal abuse and domestic violence.  Some people try to justify or undermine this problem because the victim is only the animal.  However, it is important to consider that a person who hurts animals often escalates to hurt people. And children who abuse animals can also escalate to violence against people. Often this is a warning sign that something is going on with the child and in the family dynamic.  Other behaviors include aggression and bullying.

No one deserves to be treated badly or physically abused. This includes our pets. How can you help?  Talk to your children if they ever hurt an animal or witness someone hurting an animal.  Start by telling them that is not okay and that there are healthy options to express complex feelings of depression, anger, and anxiety. If you see others hurting their pets, or just animals in general, you can report the matter to your local animal control or regional animal services.  You can also call 911.  Likewise, you can help victims of domestic/intimate partner violence by connecting them with agencies who can provide them with safety and support. Your local domestic violence community organization is Tahoe SAFE Alliance.  Please be mindful that by doing this, you can be saving a valuable life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Boys are Not Alright. So What Can We Do About It?

In the wake of yet another mass shooting at a high school in Florida, a popular opinion piece has been circulating connecting the dots between violence and men and boys.  It's main point: America's boys are broken.

The piece, titled "The Boys Are Not Alright," by Michael Ian Black, exemplifies this connection by stating that men and boys are suffering from an outdated model of masculinity and society is paying the price.  Men and boys are the main perpetrators of most violent crimes, including gang violence, intimate partner violence, mass shootings, and gun violence.  Additionally, boys are four times as likely to complete suicide than their female counterparts.  Our boys are experiencing a crisis.  And Tahoe SAFE Alliance believes there is something that we can do about it.

For years, Tahoe SAFE Alliance has implemented a Community Outreach and Prevention Program that teaches true gender equity.  The agency attempts to navigate the complexity of gender-based labels through education at the schools and through its Youth Empowerment groups.  Through this community education, Tahoe SAFE Alliance allows youth to examine the constructs of traditional gender roles defined by a patriarchal system.  Additionally, youth are encouraged to consider how these roles are damaging to society and to themselves.

With boys' Youth Empowerment, Tahoe SAFE Alliance specifically focuses on what it means to be a boy/man in today's world and the struggles and pressures that boys and young men face to fit into constricting and outdated gender roles. Furthermore, the participants are incited to redefine what masculinity means in a manner that allows for the full human expression of emotions and experiences.  These empowerment groups provide room for boys to express vulnerability, love and compassion while challenging the stereotype that male value relies solely on strength and having power over others.  When you allow men and boys to show emotion without emasculating them, you provide a safe space for them to reach out for help when needed without being seen as weak.  You also grant courage to stand up to violence and allow for the full human experience that boys also deserve.

The continuous struggle for gender equity is on all of us, as it affects all of us.  The only way we can truly face today's challenges such as gun violence, gender-based violence and suicide, is if we dismantle a patriarchal system that keeps us all in stifling and subordinate roles.  Tahoe SAFE Alliance continues to fight for gender equity and the rights of all people in the community, however this also needs to be reflected at home.

We hear all the time, "What can I do"?  First, let your sons cry, tell them its okay, boys do cry and there is nothing wrong with that.  Second, have conversations with all of your children about gender equity and what that means in today's society.   As Mr. Black poignantly points out, "To be clear, most men will never turn violent.  Most men will turn out fine.  Most will learn to navigate the deep waters of their feelings without ever engaging in any form of destruction.  Most will grow up to be kind.  But many will not."   Lastly, show your boys that they can ask for help and it doesn't make them less of a person.  And give them just as much patience and tenderness as your daughters, they deserve it and need it now, more than ever.

Contributed by Emily Abrahams
Community Education and Prevention Educator