April 28 event to benefit Independent AdvocatesWritten by Emily Gibb | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent Advocates, a group committed to supporting domestic violence victims, is holding its third annual Super FUNdraiser April 28 at Wesley’s Bar and Grill.
Co-directors and founders Rachel Richardson and Rebecca Facey said activities at Wesley’s will include pay-to-sing karaoke, poetry reading, a bocce ball tournament, a bake sale and a raffle for a Toshiba Netbook.
Tickets for the raffle are $5 each or $20 for five tickets. Proceeds from the event will help Independent Advocates continue working on system-level advocacy and providing direct services and support to people going through the court system.
“The community has been wonderful to us and has really stepped up to support the domestic violence prevention and awareness efforts that we’re doing, and we really need that to continue,” Facey said.
Federal grant money has run out for the 3-year-old organization and it is turning to donors to gain more support for work the agency says needs to be done — no matter what.
“Due to slim economic times and cuts in important programming at the federal level, we are not currently receiving any grant funding and we need community support more than ever,” Richardson said. “As an agency, we need to sustain ourselves from donations from the public at this point.”
Funds will also help in the production of a court watch report that Richardson and Facey say will highlight how domestic violence is handled in Toledo and other communities and suggest improvements, such as holding a separate domestic violence court.
“We’re working really hard to convince the courts that it’s the correct next move in handling domestic violence responsibly and appropriately in Toledo,” Richardson said. “Our overall mission is to improve the community’s response to domestic violence and it’s a perfect opportunity to intervene and address it appropriately.”
For those who can’t make it to Wesley’s, but would still like to donate to Independent Advocates, there are several ways to do so, as well as several other upcoming events.
Richardson and Facey are also planning a scavenger hunt in June to occur shortly after the court watch report is published.
“The scavenger hunt is to get people really involved and heighten their awareness to what it means to be a victim in the court system in Toledo,” Facey said.
The organization will host a purple ribbon campaign during May, as part of what it calls Toledo’s Domestic Violence Awareness month. Supporters are asked to hang purple ribbons around their trees to show solidarity against domestic violence.
Individual donor aid helps at least 100 women Independent Advocates accompanies to multiple hearings in many courthouses each year.
“We really need people from the community recognizing that this is an important issue: We’re doing really important work that is making a difference in the community; that we’re affecting real culture change as it relates to domestic violence and how the community responds to it,” Facey said.
The Super FUNdraiser will run from 6 p.m. to midnight. Wesley’s Bar and Grill is located at 1201 Adams St.
Supporters can send checks to Independent Advocates at 151 N. Michigan St. Suite 209, Toledo, OH 43604; designate Independent Advocates as their charity of choice through a United Way campaign; use PayPal online at www.iatoledo.org or register their Kroger Card with the Kroger Community Rewards Program.