CORTLAND, N.Y. — The Cortland YWCA’s Aids to Victims of Violence program hosted a fundraising event Friday called “Chef’s Take A Stand: Men Against Domestic Violence” to raise awareness of domestic violence issues in the community.
According to their website, “Aid to Victims of Violence provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and other crimes. We are here to help!”
Several prominent male figures in the community, including City of Cortland Police Chief Frank Catalano and Cortland County Sheriff Mark Helms, were in attendance.
“Domestic violence drives a lot of our call load. We take it very serious, so I’m honored to be here tonight to support the victims of domestic violence,” said Chief Catalano.
Each man that agreed to cook was someone who provides some sort of a service within the Cortland community. They were each required to prepare a dish to pass.
Tickets were $25 and were sold out before the event took place, though the AVV program made some last minute tickets available at the door.
“I think tonight is a great turnout to show that domestic violence is a community issue,” said Kelly Tobin, Executive Director of the Cortland YWCA. “We were really happy to see that we had almost 30 male leaders in the community participate in the event, because domestic violence is not just a women’s issue, men are victims, too, so it’s great to see that men and women are coming together to take a stand for us.”
The proceeds from each ticket, including the raffle giveaway ticket money, were put back into the AVV department budget so that they may continue to provide services for the women and men of Cortland County who have been affected by domestic violence.
“It’s meaningful to us for two reasons. One is fundraising, because we are completely grant funded. The other is it educates community members, and hopefully people can walk away with at least one little piece of information that they maybe didn’t know about domestic violence,” said Linda Glover, director of the AVV department.
Refreshments were also served. Special thanks were given to Ames Linens, Applebee’s Grill and Bar, Benn Conger Inn, Carla Krause Nielson, CNY Rentals, Cortland Jazzercise, Cortland Repertory Theatre, Country Inn and Suites, The Dark Horse, The Deli Downtown, Greek Peak, The Juice Bar, Magpie Custom Creations, Maines Food and Party Warehouse, Marilyn Van Slyke, SUNY Cortland Athletics, The Tasting Room, Tops, and the AVV staff for their help with the event.
The YWCA AVV office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday by appointment only. Their phone number is 607-753-3639, and a 24 hour crisis hotline is available to victims of violence at 1-800-336-9622 or locally at (607) 756-6363.