13 Dec Friends of SAFE Shelter – December 13, 2016
December 13, 2016
Dear Friends of SAFE Shelter,
I don’t know where to begin in describing our 2016 Giving Gala! Probably the best way to start is to say it far exceeded all of our expectations! And it’s all because of you, the sponsors, the donors, the Gala Committee, Board of Directors, and those of you who showed up to support the Shelter.
I am so proud of the Gala Committee, Chair Carrie Lee, Co-Chair Stephanie Wilson-Evans, Lorraine Boice, Jeannie Ahrens, Sheila Grossman, and Laurie Silvers Ross. I’ve seen you all sitting around the conference table here, exhausted but still plugging away. And there are so many other dedicated folks, including Susie and John Harrison, Ed Harvey, Linda Huntoon, Diane Tracy, Sandy Mayer and too many others to name, that made this year’s event nothing short of perfect.
Behind the flurry of planning, the beautiful event itself with all the exciting auction items is the real need for this fundraiser to succeed. For the past two years, the Shelter has seen extended periods of time, 8-6 months straight, where we had to temporarily house clients in a nearby hotel because we were at capacity. The money for these hotel stays comes right out of the Shelter’s budget, and are not reimbursed in any way through grants. This is a good thing on one hand because it seems our community awareness efforts are reaching more victims and they’re seeking us out. But on the other hand, it has created a rather large financial burden.
There are so many fundraisers in Savannah. But this one, the Giving Gala (formerly CHAIRaity, etc.) literally helps save lives. At risk sounding like a broken record, not one of our victims in the Shelter’s 36 year history has been killed by her or his abusive partner. That being said, every one of you participating in this year’s event has been part of helping us keep our doors open.
Thank you, all of you, from the bottom of my heart!
Cheryl Haven Branch
SAFE Shelter Center for Domestic Violence Services