Our Opening Doors Gala last Friday night at the Figge Art Museum brought together 250 of our friends and donors staff for a fun evening that raised $75,000 to benefit our Domestic Violence Shelter. We are very grateful for all those who made the Gala such great success!
The highlights of the evening included a live auction featuring Colorado resort vacations, luxury iWireless Center suites for upcoming events, and other items, and a silent auction was held throughout the evening as people bid on elaborately painted doors from area students.
Jim Russell served as the emcee and auctioneer for Friday’s event. Each person was given a number when they checked in, and they held up their numbers when they wanted to make a bid. There was a lot of laughter and action during the auction, as Jim walked through the hall encouraging people to give to bid higher. Everyone was aware that the real focus wasn’t the item they were bidding on — it’s the safety and support they would provide for women and children in the Quad Cities who — right now — are wondering where they will turn to escape a violent domestic situation.
Auction items included:
- Three separate vacations at the Summit Peaks North Lodge about 60 miles west of Denver, Colorado, donated by Brad and Sandy Foreman.
- Admission to the Wells Fargo Suite at the iWireless Center for the Ringling Brothers Circus, donated by Wells Fargo.
- An exclusive Chicago White Sox package featuring an Alex Rios #51 signed bat, four game tickets, parking pass, and a special message on the scoreboard, donated by the Chicago White Sox.
- 4 VIP Passes, parking, and the UnitedHealthcare Suite at the John Deere Classic, including Meet the Pro/Autograph opportunity and more, donated by John Deere Classic.
- Admission to the Midland Information Resources Suite at the iWireless Center for the Jason Aldean concert, including 8 tickets and food, donated by Midland Information Resources.
Messages of hope, courage, and new beginnings were painted on doors by area students. The doors were donated by Habitat for Humanity, designed by the students and then put on display at the Figge the week prior to the Gala. It was a moving display. The student doors were auctioned at the Gala for a total of $2,000.
The Opening Doors Gala is a fun event, but there are always very emotional moments. Some of the people who are most engaged in this issue have experienced violence in their own lives. In fact, almost everyone knows someone – a friend or family member – who has experienced domestic violence.
The Gala is organized by a committee of amazing volunteers who worked very hard this year. We can’t do this without them. This year’s committee included:
- Debi Butler (co-chair)
- Jenni Venema (co-chair)
- Jodi Blackwell
- Lynne Dvorak
- Audra Foley
- Jacki Guinn
- Amy Hultquist
- Barb Johnson
- Beth Hamel Kennedy
- Ann Lohmuller
- Kathy Mirocha
- Jody Ruhl
- Beth Tinsman
- Melissa von Maur
- Dana Wilkinson
It’s the mark of a wonderful community when so many people would support an event and a cause like this, and would donate $75,000 in one evening to help others in their moment of need. Recently, some domestic violence survivors were talking together, and they each agreed that when they think of Family Resources they think of “safety.” One survivor said that even when she was trapped in a violent relationship, it gave her peace of mind to know that Family Resources was there when she needed us.
We are here, and thanks to the people who supported our Gala last Friday, our Domestic Violence Shelter will continue to provide a safe place when victims decide that the moment has arrived to become a survivor.