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Gateway to Hope plans night of fun for good cause

Annual event benefits charity to help domestic violence victims

POSTED: April 14, 2014 11:41 p.m.

The annual Gateway to Hope fundraiser set for Friday aims tobenefit victims of domestic violence.

Gateway Domestic Violence Center, a local nonprofit, has been putting on the event for several years, said Jessica Butler, Gateway’s executive director.

“Our goal is to raise awareness and money to operate our program,” she said. “There’s a pretty big need for our services here in Hall County.”

Last year, Gateway received more than 2,300 individual calls from women seeking information, advice or assistance.
Additionally, the organization provided more than 6,000 nights of shelter to women and children fleeing abuse at home, Butler said.

“It is a significant problem, even here in Hall County,” she said. “It’s not something that people are apt to talk about — it’s a problem that thrives in secrecy. So we like to bring light to the issue so that people understand that if they’re experiencing domestic violence, they’re not alone.”

Funds for the organization are raised through ticket and auction sales as well as event sponsorships. Money raised assists Gateway in its operations and is an important part of the nonprofit’s annual budget.

“It’s very important to raise money locally to help support these programs that serve families from Hall County,” Butler said.

Guests can bid on a variety of items at the event’s auction, including jewelry, gifts and even a trip to the Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn., Butler said.

“We have really unique auction items, including some once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” she added. “We’ve also got tickets for the PGA golf tournament coming up. There’s something for everyone.”

Because Gateway’s location and shelter are kept hidden due to security reasons, the fundraising event is a good opportunity for the community to get involved.

Butler said she expects around 300 people this year and has seen significant growth for the event over time as more people become aware of it.

“I think that says a lot about how caring people around here are — that they want to support the work we’re doing,” she said.

“The community has always been fabulous in the way they support us, so we’re just really excited about this event,” Butler added. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Gateway to Hope is planned for Friday at the Chattahoochee Country Club, 3000 Club Drive, Gainesville. Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m., with the main event starting at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $75 per person, and can be purchased now through the evening of the event, where they will be sold at the door. For tickets and more information, call 770-539-9080 or visit gatewaydvcenter.org.

The center’s 24-hour crisis line can be reached at 770-536-5860.


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