This Friday, April 4, The Women's Center in Danbury, CT will be hosting their 12th Annual Gala at the Amber Room in Danbury. I had the pleasure of talking with Ridgefield resident and chairwoman of the event, Ms. Gloria Norwitt. We chatted about the exciting night ahead and the important lessons the event teaches about the negatives of violence.
1. What can the attendees expect from the festivities this year at the Gala?
The Women's Center Gala is a Carnival! During the cocktail party, guests play carnival games, delight in the juggler and magician, bid on silent auction items, and preview the Live Auction items.
During dinner, the Women's Center will honor our long-time supporter and woman extraordinaire, Virginia Young. Then comedian Christine O'Leary will wow the crowd during our Live Auction. It will be fun!
2. Talk to me about Virginia Young and why she'll be the honoree at the gala this year.
Ms. Young has an unrivaled, enthusiastic spirit that is an inspiration to everyone at The Women's Center. Every year, she shares her creative mind and impeccable taste to coordinate our Gala decorations, to set our standards high and ensure our goals are met.
She has served on our Advisory Council since its inception. She is our goodwill ambassador, informing the community at large of our services, and an important fundraiser, guaranteeing that the Women's Center's free programs and services are delivered continuously.
3. How did you get involved with this amazing organization?
Starting in 2009, I volunteered as a Hotline Volunteer, answering calls several nights a month, from anyone calling our domestic violence and/or sexual assault hotline. I really enjoyed helping people and learned a great deal. Then I joined the Board of Directors, and subsequently became Chair of the Board.
4. Describe the ways that the Women's Center teaches people about the harms of violence.
The Women's Center provides free education and training programs to more than 23,000 people every year! The Center customizes these programs for preschool children through senior citizens. Age-appropriate programs can include bullying, cybersafety, "up-stander" (as opposed to bystander) interventions, dating violence, trauma sensitivity, consent, and much more.
In addition, individual counseling and support group counseling (on topics such as divorce, self esteem, sexual assault, coping with stress and anxiety, and girl empowerment for middle & high school girls) provide critical intervention, opportunity for healing, and assistance in the development of safety plans.
All services and programs are free and confidential.
5. What, in your opinion, is the most important lesson the center can teach us about the consequences of violence in families?
Consequences from violence (whether emotional, financial and/or physical) are long ranging, can be ongoing, and can be dire. Apart from physical injuries, consequences can include emotional detachment, sleep problems, low self-esteem, depression, or risky behavior such as unhealthy eating or use of harmful substances.
The Women's Center realizes the importance of support in order to cope with violence -- support through counseling, support groups, and from those around you. We must all promote healthy norms and challenge abuse.
To learn more about The Women's Center, click here.
Learn more about the Gala and purchase tickets here.