The gala is meant to raise awareness on the effects of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking on individuals, families and the community, according to a press release from the resource center. This year’s theme is “An Evening of Hope,” featuring U.S. child safety activist Elizabeth Smart as its keynote speaker.
Smart was abducted on June 5, 2002 by captors who threatened her and her family, and was held prisoner for nine months until the police returned her to her family on March 12, 2003, according to her website. She has dedicated her life to raising awareness on child abduction, recovery programs, empowering victims and promoting safety legislation such as the National AMBER Alert and the Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act.
Logan King, the center’s social media specialist, said Smart is an embodiment of hope and demonstrates the gala’s overall theme of hope for thousands of women.
“Her story is, is so powerful and so impactful and to hear from her, I think, will be inspiring and empowering for survivors,” King said.
King said the gala will also include a silent auction, wine pull and V.I.P. reception with Smart alongside sponsorship opportunities to support the mission of the center starting at $2500. The ultimate goal of the event is to celebrate the “determination, tenacity and courage of the human spirit,”according to the release.
“The gala itself is sort of representative of empowering survivors and having the community join us in recognition of the issues is really meaningful and (important to) getting the word out there and letting everyone know that this is a real issue,” King said.” And, of course, having Smart with us is going to be great too. She's going to speak to these issues, and I think it's going to be great.”