By Bonnie Carroll
Renowned fitness expert Jenny Schatzle was the keynote speaker during the 13th Annual Chocolate de Vine fundraiser at Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Event Center this past weekend.
Guests showed up in their best afternoon soirée garb to enjoy a mouth-watering celebration of chocolate & wine at the annual Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA) fundraiser.
A powerful and poignant message on the vulnerability of women being in the wrong place at the wrong time reminded everyone in the audience that any woman out having fun with friends can easily become the victim of a predator. Studies show if a young, inebriated woman is raped and traumatized she is often too terrified to tell anyone, report it to authorities, or get the help she needs. Traditionally, women have been afraid to “rock the boat” and tend not to tell anyone, Schatzle said.
Keynote speaker Jenny Schatzle (Photo: Marian Shapiro)
STESA is working to rebrand from their previous name, Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, because no one would rent them office space to provide help. STESA members were told “it would be bad for business” and “it was such a challenging subject,” Schatzle said. “There must be a place to heal, and STESA provides it 365 days a year 24 hours a day.”
A rousing paddle auction lead by emcee and auctioneer Ali Cortes raised some big bucks for the organization and included exciting trips and accommodations to fabulous destinations. My guest Alicia Sorkin, board member of the Santa Barbara Puerto Vallarta Sister Cities Committee, won a valuable bottle of Lucas & Lewellen wine, and I won an Anna’s Market Place Bakery certificate in the Balloon Pop.
(Photo: Marian Shapiro)
(Photo: Marian Shapiro)
The benefit offered fabulous chocolate creations from local chocolatiers and glasses of wine including Carp Kitchen, Chocolate Maya, Got Matcha, Fresco Café, Imagine Wine, La Lieff Winery, Ofrenda Wine, Potek Winery, Sweetzer Cellars, Tierra Y Vino, Stoplman wines, and delicious bites from California Catering and Fresco Café.
The event featured a judged competition of chocolate creations including Best Tabletop Presentation and the coveted People’s Choice Award. Winners included Carp Kitchen and Got Matcha.
Winning confection by Carp Kitchen (Photo: Bonnie Carroll)
The annual Chocolate de Vine fundraiser benefits STESA, founded in 1974 originally under the name Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center. The nonprofit changed its name to STESA in 2018 to support survivors of sexual assault. STESA offers a 24-hour hotline, crisis and long-term counseling, self-defense programs, and sexual assault prevention education programs. All services are offered, regardless of ability to pay, in English and Spanish.
For additional information visit: www.sbstesa.org or call 805-965-3271.