Peace House readies second Bling Fling
Last May, Peace House hosted its first Bling Fling.
The goal was to raise money to help the nonprofit organization, dedicated to wiping out domestic violence in Summit and Wasatch Counties, to fund some of its outreach programs and shelter facility.
Peace House volunteers collected gently used jewelry, purses and scarves from the public and sold them at the Bling Fling that was held at Newpark Resort.
The event was such a success and Peace House decided to do it again, but with a little adjustment.
"Everyone who attended last time told us we should do this right before the holidays," said Kappie Bliss, a Peace House volunteer who is in charge of planning, collection and execution of the Bling Fling. "We heard them, so from now on we will do this in November."
Peace House’s second Bling Fling will be held Saturday, Nov. 15, at Newpark Resort and Convention Center, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
"We will charge an admission price of $5 and then give everyone a bag so they can wander around and carry items they want to purchase," said Peace House Executive Director Jane Patten. "This way, they can take their time looking at everything. When they are done, they can check out with cash, check or credit card."
Patten said she is excited for people to see the different items that have been donated this time.
"We thought we had fabulous stuff in the first one, but there are even more and better items," she said. "We are finding that there were people who heard about the first one, and all came together for this one. We heard about people who threw private parties to collect items for us and they made this fun and created a lot of buzz about the event."
Bliss, who is also in charge of inspecting the items, said volunteers began collecting donations in the summer.
"So far, we have collected approximately 1,500 pieces of jewelry, and that’s a lot," Bliss said with a giggle. "We have collected 400 to 500 purses and probably that many scarves."
Bliss marvels at each item that she comes across.
"I am so impressed with the generosity of the people who live in Park City and the surrounding areas," she said. "We have exceptional merchandise and our prices will run from $5 to $500 and everything in between."
After collecting the items, Bliss and other volunteers go through them again.
"Whether it’s a scarf or a piece of jewelry or purse, we inspect everything," she said. "The jewelry is the most labor-intensive because we get both costume and fine jewelry."
When they come across a piece of jewelry that could be 14- or 18-karat gold, or another precious metal, they give it to Rob Dubberly of Legacy Estate Sales and Appraisal Services, one of the Bling Fling sponsors.
"He will take the item and checks them out to be sure of their quality," Bliss said.
In addition to the abundance of jewelry, this Bling Fling will feature a whole section of designer purses.
"We have received an incredible amount of Coach, Dooney & Burke and Vera Bradley bags," Bliss said. "That demonstrates the generosity of the people in Park City."
The November event will mark the first time Bliss is in charge of the sale.
"I started as a volunteer in March and did help with the May event, but only did a small portion of what I’m doing this time," she said. "I found it’s just like any kind of endeavor that any nonprofit does. The planning you do up front to ensure that whomever walks through our doors has a wonderful experience is the utmost in our minds. Our goal is to take great pride in pricing our items so anyone that comes to Bling Fling can find fabulous items at reasonable costs for themselves or others for the holidays."
Bliss decided to volunteer for Peace House because of her background.
"I’m now retired, but throughout my professional career, I had worked in alcohol and drug abuse prevention, specifically targeted to women and children," she said. "I was a high-school counselor and established a student assistance program where teachers could refer to students who were struggling emotionally and academically."
Through that, she worked with students who were living in homes where alcohol and domestic violence were issues.
She also worked with children in the foster-care system and in 1990, Bliss established her own nonprofit organization, Bliss, Inc.
"I staged local and national projects that evolved around women, children and addiction and substance abuse," Bliss said. "So the mission of Peace House speaks to what I’m passionate about, because alcohol, drugs and domestic violence go hand in hand in many instances."
A few years ago, during what she calls a "late-life crisis," Bliss opened a boutique jewelry store in Austin, Texas.
"Not only does Bling Fling speaks to my passion to help and empower women and children, but also my passion of my experience in the retail business," she said, laughing. "I loved seeing people in my store find things they really wanted or really resonated.
The Bling Fling is a great opportunity for Bliss to give back to the community she now lives in.
"We have some wonderful items and I would encourage people to come and start their holiday shopping early," she said.
Like Bliss, Patten is appreciative to the public for the donations.
"This has gone beyond our expectations," she said. "We had a great response to the first one and I think it will be bigger and better this time."
Patten is also grateful for Newpark for hosting the event.
"They invited us to hold the Bling Fling in May and asked us to come back this time," she said. "They have been so kind to host this event for us. We want to attract more people from the surrounding areas and keep it growing."
Peace House will present its second Bling Fling at the Newpark Resort and Convention Center, 1476 Newpark Blvd. at Kimball Junction, on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is $5. For more information or to donate items, visit http://www.peacehouse.org or call 435-658-4739.
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