Girls Night Out Annual Fundraiser For YWCA Resolve Family Abuse Program Wins National Distinction
GNO RECOGNIZED AS SOUTHEAST TOURISM SOCIETY’S ‘TOP 20 EVENT’
(Charleston, W. Va., April 20, 2016) - There are many fundraisers, festivals, charity events and pro-bono parties to benefit various groups all across the country, but in Charleston, W. Va., there’s only one Girls Night Out and it has earned the distinction of the Southeast Tourism Society’s “Top 20 Events” for August 2016.
With planning that lasts the entire year, a roster of all-volunteer committees, themes played out in attire, food and drinks, it’s no surprise that the state’s largest women-only fundraiser draws an annual crowd of 1,400 or more. The best part? Girls Night Out benefits the YWCA Charleston’s Resolve Family Abuse Program and celebrates the idea of women helping women escape domestic violence.
According to the Southeast Tourism Society’s Bill Hardman, president and CEO, “the Top 20 Festival and Event list is an excellent guide for the Southeast’s visitors and residents. Events selected represent the best, and often most unique, activities in our region.” The STS website states that the Southeast Tourism Society is dedicated to promoting and developing tourism in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
GNO HAS BECOME A SUMMER TRADITION---AND A LIFELINE FOR YWCA RESOLVE
“Girls Night Out saves lives,” says YWCA Executive Director Debby Weinstein. “It’s really that simple. Without the funds GNO raises each year, vital services and support for YWCA Resolve’s shelter would suffer drastic cuts,” said Weinstein. Referencing tight budgets, reduction in funding or grant monies and an overall tough economy in West Virginia, Weinstein expressed gratitude for Girls Night Out and its volunteers who plan and present the event. “On behalf of the YWCA and the victims of domestic violence and their children, I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough.”
Tangible results from each year’s GNO are evidenced at YWCA Resolve’s shelter, aptly named Hope House. “GNO helped us pay for a new roof, two new heating/cooling units and a vehicle to transport victims and their children to the shelter from our rural outreach offices and to court appearances – the list goes on,” says YWCA Resolve Family Abuse Program Director Pam Gillenwater.
Initiated in the fall of 1998, Girls Night Out started as a series of small house parties. Eventually, individual parties morphed into one grand event that’s recognized as the premier ‘party with a purpose.’ This year, Girls Night Out will take place August 13th at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston.
Now in its 19th season, GNO has raised more than $1 million to assist YWCA Resolve in providing shelter, counseling, court advocacy, supportive services and more. Committee chairs are hoping to keep a good thing going.
“Every day I wake up and ask myself, ‘what can I do for GNO today?’” says Sandy Call, co-chair of Girls Night Out planning committee. Call, who works tirelessly alongside other GNO chairwomen, says, “Being part of GNO leadership helps me because I’m helping others.”
ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & HOW YWCA RESOLVE IS WORKING TO ELIMINATE IT
Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income or other factors. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence and one-third of homicides in West Virginia are related to domestic violence.
Last year, YWCA Resolve provided services to 2,529 individuals; provided 3,491 shelter nights to victims and their children in Kanawha, Clay and Boone counties; provided 5,560 hours of case management and advocacy, safety planning and many other services, including a confidential 24-Hour crisis hotline at 304.340.3549 or toll free at 800.681.8663.
Contact: Kate Flack, YWCA Communications & Development
304.932.6480 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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