Date night a learning experience

By Geoff Lee

January 17, 2018 1:29 PM

Maria Sarcauga, program facilitator with the Lloydminster Sexual Assault & Information Centre, urged members of the Rotary Club of Lloydminster on Monday to attend their Little Italy Gala to celebrate the centre’s 35th anniversary with all proceeds going toward the Little Bear Child and Youth Advocacy Centre. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

Lloydminster Sexual Assault & Information Centre (LSAIC) is celebrating its 35th anniversary with an Italian themed fundraising date night for couples and supporters.
All proceeds from the Little Italy Gala on Feb. 10 will go toward the operation of the centre’s Little Bear Child and Youth Advocacy Centre.
Maria Sarcauga, LSAIC’s program facilitator and Tammy Lynn Adamson, a crisis interventionist teamed up to speak about the event at Monday’s lunch meeting of the Rotary Club of Lloydminster
“We will talk about what we’ve accomplished over the years and invite Rotary to the gala and purchase tickets,” said Sarcauga, before the formal presentation got underway.
“This looks like a pretty good party crowd, so let’s hope that they come out and join us.”
BioClean Disaster Services has signed on as the signature sponsor.
“We have been partnering with them for many years and they have been very amazing,” stated Sarcauga.
“We had a few hiccups at the centre and they’ve been amazing partners and they have definitely stepped up this time too.”
She said they are still looking for other sponsorships for live or silent auction items with tickets on sale for $100 a person.
LSAIC doesn’t have a fundraising target in mind, preferring instead to present the gala as an opportunity to appreciate the local community that’s supported them over the years.
“However much funds we get to raise, that’s what we get,” said Sarcauga.
She said the priority this year is to get most of the programs, protocols and the policies for the Little Bear Child and Youth Advocacy Centre working between the two provinces as a Border City organization.
“We want to be the fourth advocacy centre all over Alberta to open.”
Little Bear is a safe haven for any child and youth who has gone through abuse or any trauma in their life.
It’s where legalities and interviews with RCMP or Child and Family Services take place for child and youth sexual abuse victims.
“We want to create a safe place because having to do those interviews are very traumatic, so we want to have that space where they can come in and do their interviews,” said Sarcauga.
“They get to home with a toy or a teddy bear—something not to make the experience quite as traumatic or scary.”
About 200 people are expected to attend the gala at Rolling Green Fairways in support of Little Bear, and enjoy a catered Italy meal starting at 6 p.m.
“I believe we will have three different dishes going on including two different kinds of pastas and chicken dishes,” said Sarcauga.
“We’ll have some chocolate covered strawberries for dessert and some wine—a date night is what we want it to be like.”
As for the selection of the Italian theme, she explained that came from the fact it’s cold this winter, along with a need for little romance.
“It’s kind of around the Valentine’s Day time, so we wanted to bring in those elements,” said Sarcauga.

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