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Foundation will raise money to expand area shelter
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The Medical Center Foundation is gearing up for Thursday’s annual golf tournament to raise money for the Gateway Domestic Violence Center.

Sonya Smith, the annual gifts coordinator for the Medical Center Foundation, said this year funds are being raised to help create more space in the Gateway Domestic Violence Center, which has been serving the community for more than 25 years.

Smith said the center is trying to "reconfigure existing space as well as building an addition" so it can begin open enrollment again for many of its programs for victims of domestic violence.

Gateway Domestic Violence Center serves not only as an emergency shelter but provides legal advocacy, counseling, children’s programs and more.

Smith said this year’s tournament is a "communitywide event," featuring hundreds of sponsors and golfers.

This year, the tournament will include a new target shot contest, Smith said.

The Medical Center Open golf tournament will be held Thursday at the Chicopee Woods Golf Course. The 19th Hole Reception begins at 4:30 p.m., and there will be a check presentation at about 5 p.m.

Smith said this is the first time the Medical Center Foundation has held the fundraiser for the Gateway Domestic Violence Center, and officials think it is a worthy cause.

"It’s more than just an emergency shelter. They’re trying to break the cycle of domestic violence," Smith said

"They serve over 1,500 victims of abuse each year, including 350 children."

Smith said the golf tournament has been very successful raising funds for many other local organizations in the past.

Last year, the Medical Center Foundation tournament raised money for CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, which contributed to the new facility the agency is building on Washington Street.

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