On Aug. 9, the center is renting the Splash Zone, a water park at Gainesville’s Frances Meadows Aquatic Center. Tickets are $50, and the nonprofit is using the event’s $50 family admission fee to help fund its services to help victims of domestic violence.
Family Splash BashWhat: A pool party that supports Gateway Domestic Violence Center
When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9
Where: Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, 1545 Community Way, NE, Gainesville
Anyone who wants to donate additional money toward the event can give a $100 donation, which will include entry to Splash Bash for a family. While the event is a fundraiser, Gateway Executive Director Jessica Butler said it’s another chance to spread the message about the nonprofit.
“The main thing we want is just to make sure that people in the community know about Gateway and the needs of domestic violence survivors in the community,” Butler said. “So we see this as an opportunity not to just raise some money, but also to raise awareness of what we’re doing.”
Butler said renting out the Splash Zone will help to keep the event from overcrowding, which can be the case on days it’s open to the public. Kids will have access to water slides, both a standard pool and a kiddie pool and other water attractions. Gateway will be providing a meal for attendees, including pizza, drinks and ice cream.
According to Susan Daniell, a member of Gateway’s board of directors, the center has opted to transition to a more minimal array of food over the years, as the pull of the Splash Bash has proven to be the activities.
“Our first couple of years we focused a little more on the things surrounding the pool party,” Daniell said. “We were having homemade cakes and different kinds of drinks and decorations, but as the event has evolved we’ve gotten more simple with those sort of things because we’ve found that the kids just love having a run in the Splash Zone.”
Given the focus on the kids’ experience, Gateway uses Splash Bash as a chance to hand out materials for “Hands Are Not For Hitting,” a book series teaching kids forms of conflict resolution that don’t escalate to physical or verbal abuse. Daniell said getting resources like this in the hands of families is a subtle but effective way to help kids learn not to emulate these behaviors if they’re seeing them at places like school or even within their own family.
“I think it’s very important because children are basically modeling behavior that they see in their homes or that they see other adults, siblings or older children at school engaging in,” Daniell said. “We want the children to know that there are other ways to resolve situations. It’s all in a very subtle way, so that children are seeing that that’s not an appropriate response.”
While the education and awareness about domestic violence and the center’s resources are important to Gateway, Daniell wants Splash Bash to always be a family-friendly event that can include the whole family while also making a difference.
“There’s a lot of wonderful, wonderful nonprofits in Gainesville and Hall County, but there’s not that many family events where mom and dad or grandparents can come with the kids, with the cousins, whoever, but be advancing the purpose too,” Daniell said. “A lot of families look forward to it, and of course we bring in new families. It is a good awareness creation for folks to know about Gateway’s services and what we do for the community.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, Gateway has a 24-hour crisis hotline that can provide assistance at 770-536-5860.