An annual tradition is the Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center's Sparkling Holiday Luncheon, which collects toys for the nonprofit's littlest survivors. Held at Michael's On East on Dec. 6, some 261 guests brought hundreds of unwrapped gifts, gift cards and toys. A "shopping day" is also available to families who can choose gifts for their children at no cost.
The lively bunch of men and women were filled with Hanukkah and Christmas spirit and generosity as they mingled and then enjoyed lunch. Michael's ballroom was brought to life with excitement, and everyone marveled at the extra large Christmas tree.
Event Co-chairs Melissa Silva, Allyson Galuska and Carolyn Castro, all SPARCC Auxiliary Members, spared no detail in the planning of the festivities and decorations, which included gorgeous table centerpieces that were available for purchase. Sarasota's Ray Collins provided his talents for the auction portion of the event, and items included delicious treats from Sarasota’s most notable bakers. Auxiliary members made up gift baskets that were part of the silent auction.
With a mission to provide a safe haven and promote empowerment, awareness and social change to end domestic and sexual violence, SPARCC provides confidential and free advocacy services and crisis counseling services. In the fiscal year 2022-2023, it provided counseling services to 1,399 individuals; offered a safe shelter to 138 adults, 101 children and 13 pets, and responded to 6,328 helpline crisis calls.