Maricopa is less than a month away from one of its biggest events of the year and organizers hope this is the year funds help push a domestic violence shelter towards the commencement of construction.
The Seeds of Change Gala, benefitting Against Abuse Inc., is in its third year in helping to raise funds for the domestic violence shelter for abused women and children. The event this year is being held at the Global Water facility, 22950 N. Powers Parkway, on Saturday, Feb. 23.
Last year’s gala raised more than $100,000 for the shelter, with corporate sponsorships, individual ticket purchases, raffle purchases, casino-style gaming and silent auction bidding all helping to raise funds. The gala received a land donation in Maricopa last year and promised free engineering from Dibble Engineering, but despite raising more than $160,000 the past two years, gala organizer Torri Anderson said the nonprofit still has a long way to go to seeing the dreams of a shelter in Maricopa realized.
“It’s going to take one-half to three-quarters of a million dollars to build the shelter and furnish it,” said Anderson, who was complimentary of the community’s efforts so far. “We’re also looking for in-kind donations in construction and furnishings that will help knock down the cost.”
Against Abuse, Inc., has worked in Pinal County since 1981 and operates three shelters in Casa Grande and another in Apache Junction, all operating at full capacity. The need, Anderson said, for another shelter is desperately needed.
“When I talked with Chief Melvin and the fire department, they were really excited to get something right here where they can refer to,” Anderson said, citing the difficulty in transporting abuse victims to already overcrowded shelters in different cities.
The Maricopa Police Department reported 73 domestic violence calls in city limits in little more than a five-month span at the end of 2007 alone.
“These stats do not include the homicide that occurred on Oct. 10,” MPD spokesman Stephen Judd said. “Even though the victim/suspect relationship was not domestic violence, the crime occurred in the suspect’s home, in front of the suspect’s spouse.”
While the gala is scaled down from 500 to 300 guests this year, Anderson said the committee is working hard to create a top-tier event for the community. Casino gaming will commence right from the start this year, she said, and a DJ will play music for couples to dance to after the live auction is complete.
Food for the event will be provided by Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and Resort, Entrees Made Easy and Raceway Bar and Grill.
“It makes it a little more special knowing everything is local,” Anderson said. “We want the gala to be for networking, supporting the community and giving back.”
For more information, visit maricopaseedsofchange.org.