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Wine event to raise money for shelter
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Gateway ‘Wines of Georgia’ event

When: 7 p.m. May 16

Where: Yonah Hall, Brenau University

Cost: $75

Tickets: call 770-539-9080;

The wine will flow for a cause on May 16 at Brenau University’s Yonah Hall.

The Gateway Domestic Violence Center is holding its annual "Wines of Georgia" fundraiser next May 16. Donated wine from Georgia wineries will be served along with fine foods, live music and a silent auction offering trips, specialty items and more.

Jessica Butler, Gateway’s executive director, said the $75 ticket will benefit the center’s emergency shelter for women and children fleeing violence in their homes. Funds raised also will go toward the center’s 24/7 crisis hot line, transitional housing, support groups and classes, legal advocacy, children’s programs and domestic violence education in local schools.

"Our primary goal at Gateway is keeping domestic violence victims safe. We believe we’re saving lives in Hall County," Butler said.

Butler said she hopes proceeds from the casual event will top last year’s $35,000 mark.

She said those funds helped to shelter and counsel more than 1,300 women and children in Hall County in 2008.

Men, too, received some of those services, she said.

Butler said research shows one in four women will be affected by domestic violence, and there’s an increase in demand for Gateway services.

"There’s a lot of demand for our services, especially in this economy," she said. "We’re seeing people staying in our shelter longer. It’s taking longer for women to find jobs and establish themselves independently."

The event is Gateway’s biggest fund raiser of the year.

Can’t make it next Saturday? You can still help out.

Butler said the Gateway thrift store at 1080 Dawsonville Highway is always in need of clothing and household items.

Donations can be dropped off at the store. Tax receipts for donations to the nonprofit agency are available on the spot.