St. Patrick’s Shamrock Festival to benefit Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program

By Sally Neel

Special to The PREVIEW

Exciting plans are underway as the date for St. Patrick’s annual Shamrock Festival draws near.

This year, the church is partnering with Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program (ACVAP) to provide a fun evening of live entertainment, music, dancing and great food.

The event, scheduled for Aug. 13 from 4 to 8 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, will feature the music of The San Juan Mountain Boys. There will be a country-style dinner, a bounce house for children, parking lot dancing and a fabulous silent auction. Tickets cost $20 and include a meal and two drinks (wine and beer will be available). Tickets for children 12 and under are only $5.

All the proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction will go to benefit the ACVAP. ACVAP, under the supervision of its director, Carmen Hubbs, is a nonprofit organization that works to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The organization received the Chamber of Commerce 2015 Non-profit of the Year Award.

“St. Patrick’s is very proud to be able to partner with this important organization in our community,” said Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s. “ACVAP provides a very important service to victims of abuse in our community, providing a court advocate, emergency transportation to a safe shelter, referrals to other community agencies and community education. I cannot say enough good things about what Carmen and her staff do at Victim Assistance.”

The Shamrock Festival is an annual event at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. The event began in 2004 as a way for the church to work together to provide fun entertainment for the parish and the community, and to offer financial assistance to local nonprofit organizations. As the event grew in scope and participation, it became apparent that the members of the church could no longer sustain the work required to put on the festival.

“Though we wanted to continue to have the festival, we realized we needed a new approach,” said Neel. “Last year, rather than splitting the proceeds between numerous organizations in town, it was decided to open the festival up to just one organization. In return for the opportunity to raise a large amount of money for their organization, the selected nonprofit is responsible for helping to organize and produce the event.

“Last year we partnered with Habitat for Humanity and brought in over $7,000 for their organization. This arrangement is proving to be very beneficial for the selected organization and for the church. I believe that this year’s festival will be even more successful. Ashley Wilson, a member of the staff of ACVAP, has put in a lot of work to bring in some wonderful items for the silent auction and to assure that this Shamrock Festival will be the best yet!”