Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 5:27 am | Fair 53º


Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center Reveals New Name, Logo at Annual Fundraiser

Sweet-themed Chocolate de Vine benefit event raises $50,000 to support the nonprofit organization's mission


More than 200 supporters joined together for a mouth-watering celebration of chocolate and wine at the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center’s 10th annual Chocolate de Vine fundraiser held April 28.

For the first time, the event featured local craft beer purveyors, which seemed to be well-received by attendees at the beautiful hilltop event venue, Santa Barbara Greek Orthodox Church on San Antonio Creek Road.

Executive Director Elsa Granados told Noozhawk that $50,000 was raised to support the nonprofit organization’s mission.

“As much as we like to believe that we are different or safer in Santa Barbara, our local statistics are consistent with state and national averages," she said. "Each year, the center responds to approximately 700 new cases.”

The benefit event offered chocolate creations from local chocolatiers and pastry chefs, as well as hors d’oeuvres presented by Rincon Catering.

A judged competition included Best Tabletop Presentation as well as the coveted People’s Choice Award. Winners of the two competitions were Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates for People’s Choice Award and Stafford’s Chocolates for Best Table Top Presentation.

Purveyors included:


Chocolate de Vine
Event auctioneer and Santa Barbara City Councilman Gregg Hart with Mayor Cathy Murrillo. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

» Anna’s Bakery, Dulzura Rustique, LeLé Patisserie, Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Old Danish Fudge Kitchen, Robitaille’s Fine Candies and Stafford’s Chocolates


» Area 5.1, Giessinger Winery, Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards, Pali Wine Co., Rideau Vineyard and Riverbench Vineyard & Winery


» Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., Telegraph Brewing Co. and Third Window Brewing Co.

Major sponsors included Easy Lift, Impulse Advanced Communications, Miguel Avila, the Santa Barbara Independent, Montecito Bank & Trust, Santa Barbara Chocolate, Rincon Events, Union Bank and many others.

To add to the excitement, guests had the chance to bid on luxurious getaways and other packages in the live auction, which was conducted by volunteer auctioneer and Santa Barbara City Councilman Gregg Hart.

There also was an Opportunity Drawing for a trip for two to Bermuda with airfare included. Board president Frank Quezada opened the program, and Mayor Cathy Murillo served as the afternoon’s emcee.

Also announced at the event was the agency’s new branding, logo and name. After a two-year rebranding effort, the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center unveiled its new name, Standing Together to End Sexual Assault.

The STESA’s new logo better reflects the organization’s mission of welcoming all survivors and their supporters regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or ability. The former logo had a face of a woman, which could deter men who have experienced sexual assault, according to Granados.

“So what we say to them is, ‘Of course you belong here.’ ” she said.

The rebranding process took two years. A volunteer committee conducted research and surveyed both supporters of the agency and community members unfamiliar with its services to make sure the new name resonated.

“We want to make sure that we welcome men who are survivors of sexual assault as well as men who are significant others of survivors of sexual assault,” Granados said.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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