Saturday May 15 the sun was shining and skies were blue as guests began arriving for the 8th Annual Denim & Diamonds fund-raiser for S.A.F.E. at KD Acres in Temecula. Host Dan Atwood escorted us from the parking area to the event in his golf cart, and we began perusing the many rows of silent auction items, featuring everything from wine to art to golf packages.
S.A.F.E. (Safe Alternatives For Everyone) is a Temecula based organization that provides services for victims of abuse and violence. Executive Director Melissa Donaldson introduced several young women who shared their stories, including one 13 year old who told of the nightmare she had been enduring with a step father who was abusing drugs. She was grateful beyond words to the haven that S.A.F.E. has allowed her.
Several dignitaries including Supervisor Jeff Stone, District Attorney Rod Pacheco, Temecula Mayor Jeff Comerchero and former Mayor Maryann Edwards were in attendence. Local winemakers and winery owners were in abundance, with Briar Rose’s Les Linkogle, GBV’s Ken Falik, Bill Wilson from Wilson Creek, Terri Pebley from Keyways and Mike Rennie from Leonesse all mingling with the crowd.
Temecula’s own Kanan Road provided excellent live music, a delicious buffet dinner was provided and then it was on to the main event: the live auction. There were some big ticket items and the crowd was in a generous mood to lend S.A.F.E. a hand. There were seats in a VIP box for a Lakers/Suns playoff game, an adorable 11 week old Lhasa Apso puppy, a trip including lodging to the U.S. Open Golf Tournament, a private party for 20 at The Wine Company in Temecula and a half quarter, half Arabian horse were among the items bringing in a lot of money. One lucky person won $10,000.
S.A.F.E. provides a wonderful outlet for those in need. It was heartwarming to see the community give back. Supervisor Stone offered a $10,000 donation if the crowd would match it, which it did.