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Sassy Soiree shines bright for those in difficult times

Business owner Terri Wiebold hams it up, bringing “fun and sass” to the catwalk while modeling business attire at the Sassy Soiree fundraising event held September 16 to benefit the Douglas/Elbert Task Force.

Article and photos by Elean Gersack

The eighth annual Sassy Soiree, held on Friday, September 16, brought the community together to support the long-standing efforts of the Douglas/Elbert Task Force. The event was held at the Douglas County Fair Grounds and included a boutique, silent/live auctions, luncheon and fashion show. Lisa Hidalgo and Jayson Luber, of KMGH-TV Denver’s 7 News hosted the event.

The $38,000 in proceeds this year from the event will help support the Task Force’s mission to assist individuals and families who are in financial distress and at risk of becoming homeless. In 2010, $919,515 was provided in assistance, up six percent from 2009. This included support with food, rent, mortgage, utilities, household items, and hygiene. Assistance continues to grow each year with 11 to 17 percent of monthly caseloads coming from new families who have never sought assistance before.

According to Suzanne Greene, executive director of the Douglas/Elbert Task Force, agencies like hers are essential – and deserving of community-wide support. “We tend to see people in the very worst situations and at the lowest points in their lives. Maybe their utilities have been shut off – imagine having no water on those blistering August days, or losing all of the food in your refrigerator because the electricity has been disconnected, or huddling in bed, under all the covers, fully dressed because the heat’s been turned off. Imagine living with your family in a car in Wal-Mart’s parking lot. Imagine telling your child, or your grandchild, that there’s no food,” shares Greene.

Hunger is all around the community. “As a food bank volunteer, I know there is hunger here, but it’s hidden. It’s hard for people to come in,” notes Joan Banko, four-year Task Force volunteer and Surrey Ridge resident. “People are treated with dignity. Thought goes into each box – chili with crackers, pancakes and syrup – so food can be used in meaningful ways. It touches my heart and I am glad that I work here,” adds Banko.

During the Sassy Soiree, a new name for the Task Force thrift store was revealed — Treasures on Park Street. “The bright, expansive retail space allows for more room for those new and gently used items and makes it easier to shop,” notes Greene. “There are several dressing rooms to try on their fabulous finds. The home goods, art work, books and media areas that includes previously viewed videos and DVD’s have been expanded as well,” she adds.

The Task Force is in need of volunteers to assist at Treasures on Park Street. “We need people to sort and price donations, stock the store, act as cashiers, etc. The store is responsible for 26 percent of our overall revenue right now, and because of the cuts in government grants, it’s more important than ever for the store to generate more revenue,” shares Greene.

The Task Force, including the food bank and Treasures on Park Street is located at 1638 Park Street in Castle Rock. Food, clothing and cash donations are always appreciated. Upcoming Task Force fundraising events include Celebrate the Season Holiday Bizarre on November 6, Turkey Rock Trot on Thanksgiving morning, and Santa’s Sharing in December.

For more information about assistance, volunteering, donating, or upcoming events, please visit or call 303-688-1114. 



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