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Hope's Door Annual Gala Aims To Combat Domestic Violence

Jean Marie Connolly, who will be honored at Hope's Door 2017 Annual Gala, with her husband, Mark.
Jean Marie Connolly, who will be honored at Hope's Door 2017 Annual Gala, with her husband, Mark. Photo Credit: Jennifer Ryan Safsel

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Every nine seconds a woman in America is assaulted or beaten. Children who witness this abuse are twice as likely to repeat this behavior as adults and become abusers. Hope's Door, a Pleasantville non-profit is helping to reverse this trend by raising money to stop domestic abuse during their 2017 Annual Spring Gala.

In addition to a silent auction, music and fundraising, the 2017 Spring Gala will honor Westchester resident and Hope's Door former board member and current advisory board member, Jean Marie Connolly for her charitable work throughout the years. 

"Jean Marie Connolly has a very big personality and has a very big presence in the community," said Jennifer Ryan Safsel, director of development and community relations at Hope's Door. "I'm very excited to honor her, not only for her enthusiasm for our cause but more importantly, she highlights the children of those dealing with domestic violence."

According to Hope's Door, 15.5 million children in America experience domestic violence each year. This type of exposure not only puts children at physical risk, but can damage them psychologically and create anxiety.

Hope's Door was founded in 1980 as the Northern Westchester Women's Shelter, eventually changing its name to Hope's Door in 2009. The organization maintains a 16-bed shelter and offers one-on-one intervention, counseling, support groups, legal advocacy and services to help children living with violence at home and parents dealing with domestic abuse.

"We want the culture to change in America about domestic abuse," said CarlLa Horton, executive director of Hope's Door. "Relationships should be built on trust instead of power and control. In working with thousands of victims each year, we have seen so much that needs to be corrected."

The Hope's Door Annual Gala will help raise money to provide a safe haven and counseling for children in abusive situations. The evening will feature a giving tree, where guests can donate items such as art supplies, clothing or money for transportation to children in need. Additionally, a trip to Florida, a weekend package to New York City and a New York Yankees autographed framed picture with tickets to a Yankee game will also be raffled off to benefit Hope's Door. 

"During the gala, we will also hear from a former child of domestic abuse that came to Hope's Door over ten years ago," said Horton. "This great, young man who is now 25, is going to tell his story of his time with us at Hope's Door, and the many challenges he had to face."

Hope's Door Annual Spring Gala will be held on Friday, April 28 at Sleepy Hollow County Club. For more information about the gala, or to buy tickets, click here. 

Please call Hope's Door 24-7 hotline at (888) 438-8700 for if you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse.