Photo by Mark Gibson
Participating chefs gather prior to Thursday’s event to coordinate the menu for “An Evening with HAVEN,” a fundraiser to support survivors of abuse, which takes place Thursday, April 12, at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center. Pictured are, left to right, front row, Jom Olheiser of Cowboy’s Catering; Tara Koch, executive director of HAVEN and Chris Hance of Cousins Inn and Restaurant; second row, Juan Garcia and Stacy Heath of Clock Tower Ales and Connie Ford of Zim’s Brau Haus; third row, Tamara Huffman, executive chef of Baldwin Saloon, Terry Cobb of Cobblestone Catering and Bill Ford of Zim’s Brau Haus. Chefs not pictured include Jorge Barragan of Casa El Mirador and Ken Sommerfelt of Montira’s Thai Cuisine.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and community members can support victims — and enjoy a meal prepared by some of the best chefs in town — by attending “An Evening with HAVEN” April 12, starting at 5:30 p.m., at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center, 402 E. Scenic Drive in The Dalles.
Offered as a “Vision of Hope,” the fundraiser, now in its 21st year, raises money used by HAVEN to protect and advocate for survivors of abuse. HAVEN stands for Help Against Violent Encounters Now. Tickets are $35, available at Klindt’s Booksellers. For more information, call 541-296-1662.
Silent and live auctions will be held.
Restaurants serving include Baldwin Restaurant & Saloon; Casa El Mirador; Clock Tower Ales; Cobblestone Catering; Cousin’s Restaurant & Saloon; Cowboy Catering; Hi-Way House; Montira’s Thai Cuisine and Zim’s Brau Haus.
“It’s for a good cause, we love having the opportunity to showcase some of our specialty items,” said Bill and Connie Ford of Zim’s Brau Haus. “We are a steak house and sports bar, but we serve German foods as well.” They purchased the bar in 2005, keeping its original name. They had a German cook, who taught them how to prepare dishes like Fondue, Spaetzli and German Sausage. This will be their fourth year serving at the event.
Terry Cobb of Cobblestone Catering noted that last year’s event, also held at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center, went well. “It was great seeing so many people out, supporting such a great cause,” she said.
This year, Cobblestone will be providing appetizers for the event, including meatballs, pinwheel sandwiches, pasta skewers “and whatever else we think of between now and then,” she said with a laugh.
Jim Olheiser of Cowboy’s Catering will be serving for his third year. “I like to help out the community, and the cause, by donating our services.” Last year, Olheiser served smoked salmon — he also owns Gillmore Fish Smokehouse in Dallesport — and may do so again, or perhaps serve beef. “It depends what is needed,” he explained. “It’s a good time, we see a lot of people we know.”
Wine, beer and Spanish coffee will be provided by Baldwin Restaurant & Saloon, Clock Tower Ales, Jacob Williams and The Pines 1852.
Stacey Heath of Clocktower said this will be the first year they have provided food and beer, having participated in the silent auction in the past. They will be serving smoked brisquet, smoked for 10 hours with a Montreal seasoning, as well as Copperline Amber from Backwoods brewing and an additional surprise beer. “We love helping out, it’s a great cause, one that needs support,” Heath said.
The Baldwin Saloon has been supporting the HAVEN event for over a decade, although they were not present last year. “We skipped last year, I was having a baby,” said Executive Chef Tamara Huffman.
It was a boy, and Huffman is pleased to be back. “I like helping the community and the cause,” she said. “It brings people into the restaurant as well, they try something here and come in to order it again.”Music will be provided by Richard and Tova Tillinghast.
There will be a live and silent “chance” auction of goods and services donated by area businesses and individuals (see auction items).
Prizes include a “man bucket list” of tools, jewelry, gourmet dining, massage and chiropractic care as well as recreational adventures, such as a wine tasting tour and a scenic flight.
Another of the prizes has the HAVEN board shaking up martinis for eight in one-of-a-kind glasses that have been hand blown by local glass artist Andy Nichols. The party where eight people can watch Nichols at work in his Sixth Street studio includes hors d’oeuvres and is valued at $1,350.
“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Tara Koch, HAVEN executive director.
She said people can buy tickets at the door but to ensure there is enough food, they are encouraged to call HAVEN at 541-296-2065 to sign up.
HAVEN serves Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam and Wheeler counties, as well as other communities in the Columbia River Gorge and the Warm Springs Reservation.
In 2017, HAVEN helped 105 primary survivors of sexual violence and 18 secondary survivors. Of 371 served during the year, only 130 people did not report sexual violence in their past.
April is the national month to focus on the crime of sexual assault, which Koch said is a crime that can happen to anyone at any age. According to statistics compiled by HAVEN in 2014, 44 percent of sexual assault victims are under the age of 18 and 80 percent are under age 30. Because the abuse is most often committed by someone the victim knows, it is one of the most unreported crimes in any community.
HAVEN, which was founded in 1981, seeks to prevent incidents of abuse through youth education that focuses on consent, equality, respect, trust and safety issues involved in relationships.
In addition, the organization advocates for public policies to stop abuse and empower survivors.
More information about HAVEN can be found on organization’s Facebook page or website, haventhedalles.org.