The theme for the annual ARK Dinner & Dance is “Romancing the Stars,” and Mary Silver wants everyone who attends to shine bright like one.

“When we talk about ‘Romancing the Stars,’ we want to focus on those stars who have supported us, local people we want to highlight,” said program director Silver. “That’s what we’re aiming for.”

The Valentine’s Day event, which will be hosted by The Ark Domestic Violence Shelter, will be at the home economics building at the Brown County Fairgrounds, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The money raised from the fundraiser will go toward The ARK, a shelter for victims of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse in Brown, Coleman and Comanche counties. The funds will be used to maintain the operations within the center.

According to the National Domestic Violence hotline, more than one in three women, and more than one in four men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in heir lifetime.

“That’s high,” Program Director Christie Tongate said.

“We’re here trying to provide this awareness. It’s a service that is in very much need, unfortunately,” said Tongate, who has held her position since last May.

A dance and steak dinner catered by Humphrey Petes’s will be provided for those purchased their $45 ticket for the event, which will include a red carpet and paparazzi. Those interested in attending can purchase event tickets online at or call 325-643-2699.

The prominent Joyful Heart Foundation is also an organization that raises funds to support and heal survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.

This year’s event for the ARK encourages those in attendance to come dressed as their favorite star. A selected couple will be granted the Coy Pullara Unsung Hero award, in which its recipients are highlighted for their persistent support for The Ark.

Others to be honored will include last year’s participants in the Adopt-a-Room project, in which they provided time and work to the bedrooms and center’s renovations.

“By the time they leave, I want everyone to feel like a star,” Silver said.