The Lincoln County Coalition Against Domestic Violence is hosting a silent auction fundraiser on Thursday evening, with all proceeds to be put toward building a new Amy’s House to shelter women and children escaping violent situations at home.
Unmasking Domestic Violence, the silent auction fundraiser that will double as a masquerade gala, marks the end of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In addition to raising funds to construct a new shelter, the event is aimed at unmasking the stigma associated with domestic violence and giving a voice to those who have survived it.
“There are a couple of things we always try to do during Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” LCCADV executive director Robert Dalton said. “First and foremost, we want to push the issue of domestic violence because it’s obviously an issue that people often don’t want to talk about, meaning victims and the general public. We use this month to remind people that domestic violence is an issue in our community and one that people are suffering from everyday, so we want victims to know that the (LCCADV) is here to help. Also, this month is important because it takes money to do what we do. We’re fortunate to have funders as a United Way partner agency, but that doesn’t pay for everything. That funding is used to build the foundation of what we do, but we still have to fundraise the rest of it.”
Amy’s House, which is actually an old mill house that was transformed into a shelter fit to house up to eight people, has provided refuge for women and children escaping abuse in Lincoln County for over 20 years. While the current shelter has been a saving grace for many over the past two decades, it’s simply not big enough to support the need locally and a recent land donation has opened the door to the possibility of building a brand new Amy’s House in the near future.
“We’re very early in the process because, as you might imagine, taking a new building from an idea to opening the front door can be 3-5 years depending on fundraising and other factors,” Dalton said. “We were very fortunate to have an anonymous donor donate some land for us to use and now we’re doing the background research of what it will take to make this happen. The shelter we have now is actually an old house and, while it’s comfy and does what we need for now, we really need to grow because we’re full most of the time. It’s an older house so really we’re looking for a facility that allows us to provide services in a better environment with more room.”
In 2017, Amy’s House provided shelter for nearly 200 women and children escaping from abusive situations at home. The limited capacity of the shelter hindered those numbers, however, with the LCCADV having to refer 59 additional survivors to other area shelters, while 66 other survivors’ needs went un-met due to the fact that Amy’s House was full for 157 days last year.
The Unmasking Domestic Violence Masquerade Gala is scheduled for Thursday evening at 6 p.m. at The Laboratory Mill, located at 848 Southfork Road in Lincolnton. Tickets will cost $100 at the door on the night of the event, but they can be purchased in advance for $60 by visiting https://www.unmaskdv.eventbrite.com. All proceeds from the ticket sales, bar sales and the silent auction will go directly to the fund to build a new larger, more energy efficient shelter.