Love is in the air to help create children’s advocacy center |

Love is in the air to help create children’s advocacy center

The Rotary Club of Carbondale Aspen Glen is putting a whole lotta love into building a safe haven for abused and battered children.On Feb. 11-12 the club will host two evenings of romance at the Hotel Colorado to help fund a children’s advocacy center for victims of abuse. The weekend begins with the “I do, I do!” musical presentation from 6-9 p.m. Friday, followed by the Sweetheart Ball from 6-11 p.m. Saturday.”I do, I do!” stars husband-and-wife acting team Joyce Bulifant and Roger Perry, of Carbondale, in a turn-of-the-century love story that follows one couple from their wedding day until their deaths. Bulifant, who has been acting since the age of 14, has had appearances on the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Airplane” and “Just Shoot Me.” A composer and musician, Perry has acting credits that include “Star Trek,” “The Facts of Life” and “Falcon Crest.” The pair married three years ago after originally meeting 43 years ago while acting together.”It’s really a sweet love story that everyone can relate to,” said Bulifant, president of the Rotary Club of Carbondale Aspen Glen. “Since we’re doing a concert performance of ‘I do, I do!’ which was a Broadway musical, it lets people really use their imaginations.”A cocktail reception and casually elegant dinner precede the concert, which costs $75 per person. The romantic Sweetheart Ball features a “Toast to Love” cocktail reception, an elegant dinner, dessert with readings of famous love letters, followed by dancing and music by the Sirens. Cost is $100 per person, and mountain formal attire is suggested.”We are not sending out invitations to save money on printing,” Bulifant said. “We’re taking baby steps to building the dream. The need is so great for the children in our valley. Child abuse crosses all racial and socioeconomic boundaries, and children need a place they can come in on their own and not be scared if they have been abused.”Both events support the Rotary Club’s plans to establish an advocacy center based on models from the National Children’s Alliance and Child Help USA to offer a comfortable environment for children reporting abuse. A task force comprising local health-care providers, law enforcement representatives and welfare officials has been created to support the initiative.”It would be so nice to have a center like this in the community,” said Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario, who serves on the task force. “The big advantage, more or less, is that the center would provide ‘one-stop shopping’ where the abused child would be interviewed by police, child protective services and health care professionals all in one location. It is so traumatic for a child who has been abused. This scenario is not so traumatic for them.”Similar children’s advocacy centers exist in Grand Junction, Colorado Springs and Denver. Vallario hopes to see the Roaring Fork Valley follow suit with a facility that offers a nonthreatening, child-friendly environment.”In all, there are two goals. One is obtaining enough funding to either construct a center or find an existing structure we can use. The second is maintaining operating expenses to continue the center,” he said. “The best funding would be if we could find someone out there in the foundation world who would be interested in supporting the center. Until then we’ll continue to do it piece by piece with fund raising and grants. It will hopefully pan out.”Contact April E. Clark at 945-8515, ext. 518,

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