YWCA Cortland will hold the 3rd Annual Chefs Take a Stand Against Domestic Violence event on Thursday, October 20, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at The Lookout at Hope Lake. Tickets are $35 each and are now on sale online and at the YWCA front desk. Only 250 tickets will be sold. All event proceeds will benefit the Aid to Victims of Violence (AVV) program and help victims in the community. Chefs Take a Stand is hosted by Greek Peak Mountain Resort and presented by Platinum Sponsors Coffee Mania and CFCU Community Credit Union.
The event will feature delicious and creative dishes prepared by 20-25 local community leaders competing to be voted Best Chef and win a coveted purple apron. Guests can dance to tunes by popular local band Tribal Revival and enjoy beer and wine samples provided by Homer Hops Brewing and Thirsty Owl Wine Company. They can also purchase additional drinks at a cash bar.
“We are so excited to bring this fun and popular event back to the community after a three-year hiatus due to COVID. Event proceeds will resupply a general use fund,” said Jessica Smith, Director of YWCA Cortland’s Aid to Victims of Violence program. “Although grants fund most of our program needs, they don’t pay for some of the things necessary for a domestic violence victim to live day-to-day. These necessities include new outfits and haircuts so survivors can start new jobs and lives, co-pays on medications someone had to leave home without to escape an abuser, or flea medication or cat litter for their beloved pets.”
The Chefs Take a Stand event takes place during YWCA USA’s Week Without Violence, and this year falls on Go Purple Day. This day (Domestic Violence Awareness Day) is when people wear purple to spark conversations about and raise awareness about domestic violence.
“Domestic violence was an epidemic long before COVID-19 appeared, but the pandemic has increased domestic violence incidents in our community,” Smith continued. “The need for services for those fleeing abuse is at an all-time high. Our AVV advocates are taking more crisis calls than ever before. And they are writing as many protection orders in a day as they used to write in a week.”
The AVV program offers free, confidential services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, and other crimes and staffs a 24/7 crisis hotline. AVV advocates assist clients with crisis intervention, advocacy, legal referrals, medical support, support groups and counseling, and crime victims’ assistance. The program operates off-site emergency housing for domestic violence victims and their children. It also provides services to those living in the newly opened Grace Brown House, a permanent supportive housing project owned and managed by Christopher Community, Inc.
In addition to the Chefs Take a Stand event, AVV is holding a raffle basket fundraiser throughout October; proceeds from raffle ticket sales will also support the general fund mentioned above. People can purchase tickets for $1 each or 8 for $5 to win one of 23 baskets. Themed prizes include “Wine Makes the World Go ‘Round,” Everything’s Better with Chocolate & Coffee,” Brews & BBQ,” “Coffee Art,” “Wishing You a Lotto Luck,” “Let’s Not all Jump on the Banned Wagon: Read Banned Books,” “Woolful,” “Puppy Love,” “It’s All About the Lavender,” and more.
Members of YWCA Cortland’s Board of Directors, Trustees, and Development and Communications committee and the Chefs Take a Stand event workgroup, as well as current and former AVV and YWCA administrative staff, put together and donated the baskets for the fundraiser. AVV staff will draw winning tickets on Tuesday, November 1; winners need not be present to win. A few baskets will be raffled off during the Chefs Take a Stand event.
For more information about the Chefs Take a Stand event or the October raffle basket fundraiser, people can visit the YWCA website at cortlandywca.org or contact Robyn Hayes, Director of Development, at 607-753-9651.
ABOUT CORTLAND YWCA
YWCA Cortland is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. It celebrates diversity in its membership and offers programming for women, men, and children of all ages through four core program and service areas: Aid to Victims of Violence, Child Care, Mentoring, and Health and Fitness. Since 1914, YWCA Cortland has been striving to meet the changing needs of women and their families in Cortland County. It is part of an international movement serving over 2 million in the United States and 25 million worldwide. Learn more: cortlandywca.org, facebook.com/cortlandywca, twitter.com/YWCACortland, and instagram.com/ywcacortlandny.