To the editor:
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a nationally recognized month in which events are held in order to raise awareness and prevent the incidence of domestic violence. The Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center participated in a number of events that included:
Sept. 29 — “New Perspectives on Domestic Violence: A Community’s Response to Tragedy” was a discussion at Amesbury Friends Peace Center located at the Amesbury Friends Meeting. I was joined by Amesbury police Detective Robert Wile, where we met with 50 attendees to discuss how best to support domestic violence prevention and awareness in our community.
Oct. 6 — The Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center hosted its 22nd annual Walk Against Domestic Violence at Mark Richey Woodworking in Newburyport. Despite another year of rainy weather, over 500 people from our community banded together to help us not only achieve our financial goals but to also demonstrate that as a community, we stand together against domestic violence.
Oct. 27 — “Kids Pumpkin Patch Fun Run,” hosted by sixth-grade Immaculate Conception School student Maddie Dahn to engage local area youth in a costume fun run while raising money for the center’s Youth Prevention Programs. This inaugural event at Cashman Park was a success, with over 150 kids and parents gathered together in costumes to support the work of the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center.
Oct. 28 — The Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center hosted Attorney General Martha Coakley, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, state Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, state Rep. Michael Costello and local Amesbury officials to discuss issues surrounding domestic violence. The meeting provided an opportunity to present to and hear from Massachusetts state officials looking to strengthen state domestic violence laws in order to protect victims of domestic abuse and keep offenders behind bars.
I wanted to take this time to recognize the support and effort put forth by this community. We asked for the community to come together and make a strong statement against domestic violence, and you responded with your presence, your action and your financial support.
To our local supporters who attended our talks, local officials who came to support our efforts in helping to affect change in Massachusetts state laws, and to our sponsors, walkers, fun-runners, family and friends who pitched in to contribute generous financial support to this effort, we thank you. The funds generated by the events that took place during the month of October will be used to offset the cost of providing services to our clients, and the conversation will help to affect change and save lives. There are so many people to thank and space doesn’t permit listing everyone, but to all in the community who support the work and mission of the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, thank you.
Also, I would like to thank the residents of High Street in Newburyport who helped our promotional efforts by allowing us to display a sign on their lawns in the days before the walk. That added visibility was a real plus. And, I would like to thank Mark Richey Woodworking for hosting the event. And, to all of our walk sponsors, beginning with our Presenting Sponsor for the 12th year, The Institution for Savings! Our Going-the-Distance Sponsors: Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank and M.K. Benatti Jewelers Incorporated. Stepping-Up Sponsors: Bob’s Discount Furniture; Cheryl Richardson and Michael Gerrish; Leeward Light Thrift Store; Matter Communications; TD Bank, N.A.; Hopeline by Verizon Wireless New England. Pacesetter Sponsors: Amesbury Chevrolet; Anna Jaques Hospital; Colden & Seymour Ear Nose Throat & Allergy; Dietz & Lynch Capital; Gould Insurance Agency; McDonald’s, In Loving Memory of Nikki Hart; The Provident Bank; Schwartz Hannum PC. Lawn Sign Sponsors: Supercuts. Stride Right Sponsors: American Distribution Inc.; Appleton Eye Associates; Law Office of Donald M. Greenough; OSRAM Sylvania, Inc.; Paul C. Rogers & Sons Funeral Homes; Strem Chemicals. Foot Soldier Sponsors: Stephen and Janice Anderson; Appliance Warehouse; Fritz DeGuglielmo; Georgetown Bank; Kenneth C. Halkin Management Consulting; Newburyport Lions Club; Peter and Patty Hoyt; The Pearce Family; Port Paint N Paper; Francee and Michael Quinlan; Revitalive Café; Stone Ridge Properties; ZAR-Tech.
Friend Sponsors: Amesbury Friends Meeting; Amesbury Police Officers Association; Angels Outreach Trust; Carr Island Animal Hospital; Bartlett’s Cove; Ronna Caras; Cote Plumbing & Heating Inc.; Crystal Engineering; Dog Friends of Newburyport; Edward Jones; Essex Street Inn; Healey, Deshaies & Gagliardi Inc.; Hero Coatings Inc.; Holmes Physical Therapy; Hugh Glazer; MAC Fitness Rowley; Matthews Consulting LLC;, Morrill Electric; Newburyport Development; Odd Fellows of Newburyport; The Natural Dog; Irwin & Joan Tepper; Law Office of Joyce E. Scott. Tote Your Message Sponsors: Center for Psychiatric Medicine; First Ipswich Bank; Healthcare Complete; Supercuts. And to those who donated goods or services, our In-Kind Sponsors: Abrahams Bagels; Amesbury Junior Brownie Troop 63163, Cider Hill Farm; Colby Farmstand; Dunkin Donuts; Chuck Haaser Photography, Just Dogs; Kathy’s Tumbleweed; McDonalds in Loving Memory of Nikki Hart; Meghan McBrine Photography, Merrimack College Hockey Pep Band; Newburyport High School Cheerleaders; Newburyport Boy Scout Troop 21; Panera Bread; Mark Richey Woodworking; Seaport Signworks; St. James Episcopal Church; Starbucks; Theater in the Open; and to Eat Cake for selling cupcakes and donating the proceeds to the Center!
In addition, we would like to thank Maddie Dahn and her parents, Paul and Kara, for hosting the Pumpkin Patch Fun Run and to the Community Sponsors, Matter Communications, Colden & Seymour Ear Nose Throat & Allergy, Enpro and Mr. and Mrs Francis Healy; and for in-kind sponsors, Panera Bread, Sports Authority and Sal’s Pizza.
The 2013 activities of Domestic Violence Awareness Month reflect a true community effort, for which we at the center are incredibly grateful. Today, with the help of many, we continue to strive to end family violence and help victims regain safety, well-being and self-sufficiency.
Suzanne C. Dubus
CEO, Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center