After a month of displaying bright purple lights, the Saratoga Springs City Center will be hosting the 30th Anniversary fall fundraiser for The Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County on October 30.
The event, called Color ME Purple, will honor several different people and organizations that have worked with the DVRC to end domestic violence, including Leadership Saratoga, Soroptimist International of Saratoga County, Saratoga County Assistant District Attorney Lyn Murphey, and Home Instead’s NYS Volunteer of the Year Katharine Winderlin.
When asked about the goal for the fundraiser, Executive Director Maggie Fronk didn’t mention a dollar amount. Instead, she said the main objective was communication - “to tell people what our vision for the future is. There are numerous ways that people can be a part of the vision.”
The DVRC, which employs 15 staff members and has 14 hotline volunteers, helps approximately 1000 people per year, primarily women and children. With a budget of $1 million a year, they offer emergency housing, counseling, and medical support as well as assistance in transportation and finding employment. All services are free of charge.
Lyn Whaley, the president of Soroptimists Saratoga, one organization being honored at the fundraiser, describes a program the Soroptimists developed in partnership with the DVRC.
“We came to the DVRC and said, ‘what can we do for women in Saratoga to help them better themselves?’ They found a curriculum called Hope and Power.”
The program helps women who are struggling financially to find employment through 8 sessions of career counseling. While it does not specifically target victims of domestic violence, Hope and Power is used by many women who are recovering from a history of abuse.
Providing services that help rehabilitate victims has been the main focus of DVRC for the past 30 years. In the past 2 years, however, the DVRC has been developing early intervention programs to prevent new cases of relationship abuse.
“One program is a friend to friend campaign” Fronk says, which helps people “to have a conversation with someone if you're concerned they’re in an abusive relationship.”
It’s programs like this that “get ahead of the problem,” which she says will help to end domestic violence.
Color ME Purple begins at 6:30 at the City Center on Tuesday, October 30. Tickets cost $75.
ON THE WIRE