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Second annual Crimson Cocktails to raise funds for Sanctuary Women’s Development Center in Norman

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By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter

On Saturday, August 22, members of Catholic Charities will paint the town red as they host the second annual Crimson Cocktails event benefiting Sanctuary Women’s Development Center in Norman.  A program of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, the Center is a community resource for homeless and at-risk women and children.

The fundraiser will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Norman Arts Council Gallery, 122 E. Main Street.

The evening will feature cuisine from Norman area restaurants, including Interurban, the Good Egg Dining Group and O-Asian Fusion, as well as live music provided by the well-known band WW/PT. There will also be an auction of works from local artists.

Again this year, Crimson Cocktails has invited local restaurants to compete for the title of “Top Crimson Cocktail.” Each restaurant is asked to concoct a specialty “crimson” cocktail, complete with a complimenting appetizer.

All guests are asked to try a sip of each beverage creation and vote for their favorite. The votes will be tallied that evening and the winner announced.

Established in May 2014, Sanctuary Women’s Development Center is located at 2133 SW 11 Street. It provides essential resources, support and empowerment to homeless and at-risk women and their children of all races and religions.

The program not only offers assistance for basic needs, but also supplies a plan and the guidance needed to help clients and their families overcome poverty and to become self-sufficient.

“Much more than a place to find shelter, Sanctuary offers transformative services that helps hundreds of women and their children each year,” Catholic Charities’ Executive Director Patrick Raglow said.

“We are grateful for the incredible support we’ve received from the Norman community and events such as Crimson Cocktails that help grow our services in the area.”

Chair of the 2015 Crimson Cocktails is Mary Blankenship Pointer, senior vice-president at Republic Bank & Trust. A strong community advocate, Blankenship Pointer has become personally committed to helping Sanctuary provide hope to those on the streets.

“I grew up with tales of my grandmother’s brother, who battled against health concerns and life on the streets. Sadly, his story did not end well, but today there is possibility of a better life for so many who live without permanent housing,” said Blankenship.

“Programs like Sanctuary not only provide a safe place to stay during the day, but also help end the cycle of homelessness by providing a path out of poverty. I’m proud to be a passionate supporter of Sanctuary and chair of the 2015 Crimson Cocktails.”

Karen Rieger, shareholder and director for Crowe and Dunlevy, will serve as the 2015 Honorary Chair.

Individual tickets to Crimson Cocktails are $65 and can be purchased online.   Tickets include free cocktails and appetizers from local restaurants. A cash bar will be available.

Sponsorships for Crimson Cocktails are available at the $500, $1,000 and $1,500 level. All funds raised stay within the Norman community, where they will help women and children in need.

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Christopher Cowden at 405-523-3009 or visit

Founded in 1912, Catholic Charities serves the community through its mission to provide help and hope through the Catholic tradition of service.

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, with regional service locations in Ardmore, Clinton, Enid, Guymon and Lawton and program locations in Norman and Midwest City, Catholic Charities serves 18,000 Oklahomans annually through its 16 social service programs.

For more information about Catholic Charities, visit

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