Peace House gives shoppers a fling with bling
November 4, 2016
The Peace House shelter served 99 children and adults in 2015.
The nonprofit that is on a mission to wipe out domestic violence in Summit and Wasatch counties, also assisted, 250 children and adults who sought help, but didn't want to go to the shelter, which serves as a refuge for victims of domestic abuse.
These numbers are part of a bigger issue, according to Ann Johnson, communications and development manager of Peace House.
"One of three women in Utah will experience some form of domestic abuse during their lifetime," Johnson said during a Park Record interview. "That's greater than the national norm, where one of four women will be a victim of domestic violence."
To help provide resources for those who are in these difficult situations, Peace House will throw it's annual Bling Fling Boutique on Friday, Nov. 11, and Saturday, Nov. 12, at Park City Community Church, 4501 S.R. 224.
Friday's hours are from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday's hours will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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Admission is a cash donation of $5, and shoppers will receive a hand stamp so they can come and go as they please.
Once inside, shoppers can buy an assortment of jewelry, scarves, hats, accessories and handbags, according to Kappie Bliss, who is co-chairing this year's event with Nancy Tosti.
"We have 1,200 pairs of earrings alone," Bliss said. "In addition to that, we have 500 to 600 bracelets, 1,000 necklaces and 400 purses, including 100 that are high-end brands."
Those brands include Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Vera Bradley, Brighton and Coach.
Members of the Greater Park City area donated all items on sale.
"We are so appreciative all who provide us with donations that allows us to continue this sale," Bliss said.
Last year, Bling Fling and some other smaller fundraisers raised $29,000 for Peace House.
The money was used to support the shelter, but also educational programs that focus on domestic and child abuse prevention, Johnson said.
"During the 2015-16 school year, we brought these programs to more than 12,000 students in Summit and Wasatch county school districts" she said. "We teach a program that is sanctioned by the nonprofit Prevent Child Abuse Utah, a chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America."
The money also went to build at free clinical therapy program.
"Clinical therapy is key to help people move through these difficult times," Johnson said.
The expense to put on Bling Fling is less than $1,000 thanks to other donations and sponsorships by Park City Community Church, Prospector Conference Center, Right at Home, Freedom Chiropractic, Dijore Boots, Splendor Beauty Emporium and Whimsy Clothing Boutique, Bliss said.
"We also want thank the churches in the area and other places that there are too many to name, who allowed us to put up collection bins," she said.
The sponsorships make it possible to donate the majority of people's money that is raised at the Bling Fling to benefit Peace House.
Peace House has added new attractions to Bling Fling this year, Bliss said.
"First of all, we'll also have personal shoppers who are volunteers who will help people pick out items that will best complement their tastes," she said. "Then we will also have someone who will do scarf-tying demonstrations."
The third will be free massages from a Freedom Chiropractic massage therapist.
"We want this to be a comfortable experience, because this is a great time to buy holiday gifts for friends and family," Bliss said.
Johnson remembers the first Bling Fling held in 2014 at Newpark Hotel.
"We held it right after our annual spring luncheon and it was a lot of work," Johnson said. "We had a lot of help with the marking and sorting, and had the help of Ron Dubberly, of Legacy Estate Sale and Appraisal Services, who would come in and tell us the worth of the jewelry and such."
A few weeks later, Peace House staff decided to host another Bling Fling in later that year.
"We decided to do it closer to the holidays in November and keep it there," Johnson said.
That's when Bliss "swept" into the Peace House circle.
"Kappie has a background in retail and said she would be happy to take Bling Fling over, and she has managed it ever since," Johnson said.
After last year's event, Bliss Moved to Austin, Texas, but returned to Park City this year to help.
"I knew there was going to be a transition year to put Nancy in charge in order to continue the project," Bliss said. "I plan on assisting next year, but I won't be here as much."
Bliss said friends made it possible to come back.
"I'm actually house-sitting for my friend who is out of the country," she said. "I am so interested in helping other women, and women with children, have a safe environment in which to live.
"This is just my way of giving back and providing some leadership so we can make the dollars so Peace House can do what it needs to do to make this happen," Bliss said.
Peace House's Bling Fling Boutique will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, at Park City Community Church, 4501 S.R. 224. Admission is a cash donation of $5. For more information, visit http://www.peacehouse.org.