All things Chocolate at annual DVSAS Valentine Dinner

Stop in the name of chocolate.

The theme of this year’s “Stop in the Name of Love” fundraiser for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services (DVSAS) is “chocolat.” Held at the Inn at Ship Bay, the menu will include main courses and decadent desserts that revolve around the splendor of cacao.

The fifth annual event will be on Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. A dessert auction and a live and silent auction are planned.

According to Anita Castle, executive director of DVSAS San Juans, the auction will have more affordable items and less big ticket offerings. Norm Stamper and Barbara Starr are the auctioneers.

The money raised from this event will go primarily to the Family Options Program, which Castle introduced five years ago after seeing the needs of kids and families in crisis not being met.

“I thought one of the best things to do was provide therapy for these families and kids and give them a compass to navigate stressful situations,” said Castle.

“This program is set up so that people won’t fall through the cracks. It’s for parents, single parents, and children. It’s to help those families that could be at high risk of abuse or where there has been abuse.”

Twenty-five percent of proceeds from Stop in the Name of Love will go directly to DVSAS. The remaining 75 percent will go to family options. The highest the benefit has ever netted was $22,000; last year it brought in $15,000 for DVSAS.

In the past, proceeds from the Valentine Dinner have supported the family options program on Orcas, Lopez, and San Juan. This year, DVSAS is holding separate fundraisers.

The organization held a successful Italian-themed dinner in November at Vinny’s in Friday Harbor, netting $11,000. Stamper and Starr were the auctioneers for that event as well.

In February, musician Ginny Keith is presenting a series of concerts on Lopez; all proceeds will go to the Lopez branch of DVSAS.

Also in the works is a 5k and 10k walk/run on Orcas to benefit DVSAS in April, which is National Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Awareness month.

To RSVP for Stop in the Name of Love, call 376-5979. In previous years, tickets were $100. The cost has been lowered to $75 this year because of the economy.