YWCA Hosts Fifth Annual Purse & Passion St. Clair County Luncheon

August 22, 2013

The YWCA Central Alabama hosted its Fifth Annual Purse & Passion St. Clair County Luncheon today at Pell City First United Methodist Church. The Luncheon chaired by Honorary YW Board Member Dr. Virginia Gauld raises money to support Our Place, the YWCA’s domestic violence shelter in St. Clair County that offers a broad array of domestic violence services to women and families in the area. This year Purse & Passion St. Clair County raised $72,559 and counting!

Rural domestic violence victims are often in isolated locations and have difficulty accessing services. Deterred by lack of transportation, distance or fear of an unknown city, women in the St. Clair County area are often hesitant to travel to Birmingham to seek shelter from an abuser. Our Place is confidentially located and is the only domestic violence shelter serving victims in St. Clair and Blount counties certified by the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Judge Phil Seay was honored at today's Luncheon. Judge Seay has worked tirelessly in the St. Clair County community to ensure that domestic violence victims have the resources and support they need both in and out of the court room. Judge Seay supported the YWCA’s efforts to establish Our Place in 2009, and during his time as district court judge, he allowed the YW’s court advocates to begin meeting with victims of domestic violence in the courtroom. This allows court advocates to collaborate with judges, prosecutors and police departments. He was also instrumental in the consolidation of the Protection From Abuse (PFA) docket to one judge providing victims with improved access to the judicial system.  

Since opening in 2009, Our Place has sheltered 137 women and 106 children, and 4,977 domestic violence victims have been assisted through the St. Clair County Court Advocacy Program.

The Luncheon also featured a video that told the story of Nicole, a victim of domestic violence from St. Clair County. While telling Nicole’s story, the video highlighted additional services that women and children who are escaping abusive situations need, such as court advocacy, assistance with protection from abuse orders and safe housing.

Our Place also provides case management and financial assistance for re-housing victims displaced by domestic violence through the Special Assessment Intervention Liaison (SAIL) program in conjunction with Department of Human Resources as well as the Prom Dress Giveaway for disadvantaged area high school students.

This event would not be a success without the dedication of the Luncheon Steering Committee members, committee chairs and table captains. These volunteers worked tirelessly to raise funds, friends and awareness throughout the community. Thank you!

The YW would like to extend a special thank you to all of our event sponsors as well as our major corporate sponsors: Red Diamond, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama and Belk. All proceeds will directly support the operation of Our Place and domestic violence services in St. Clair County.

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