Ticket sales are now open for DOVE Center’s fifth annual gala March 24 at the SunRiver Ballroom. Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased at dovecenter.org. DOVE Center is a local agency providing emergency shelter, victim advocacy, and counseling services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The gala is held each year to raise funds that help ensure the continuation of critical services to survivors free of charge.
The 2018 event, “Stand Together, It’s Up to Us to End Domestic Violence,” is presented by Carpets Plus in memory of Kristy Manzanares. Victor Rivas Rivers — a veteran film star, best-selling author, and renowned anti-violence advocate — will be the keynote speaker. Rivers is a survivor of childhood abuse and credits caring, compassionate teachers and other community members for helping him make the journey from gang member to anti-violence activist.
Rivers, whose story is chronicled in his memoir “A Private Family Matter” speaks to the role all community members play, particularly men, in ending domestic abuse and violence against women.
“I see men and boys trying to outdo each other to see who’s more tough, more manly,” Rivers said. “But I believe a man is one who joins in the movement to end violence against women and children, who confronts those who commit the violence, who sets an example for boys and younger men, and who stands up to protect and respect women. That is a man.” As one of the few male voices speaking out against domestic violence, Rivers seeks to inspire activism among men and fathers.
Lindsey Boyer, executive director at DOVE Center, agrees that men play an important role in ending violence in our communities.
“It is essential to include men in finding solutions,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons it is such an honor to partner with Joe Gibbons this year to bring Victor to town.”
Gibbons is the owner of Carpets Plus, the headline sponsor of the event. He decided to get involved at this level in part to pay tribute to a former employee and beloved family friend who was killed in a domestic violence homicide last July. Kristy Manzanares was killed while on a family vacation, and her husband has been charged in her death. Gibbons wanted to take action somehow to honor Kristy’s memory and help others find safety before it’s too late.
“We’ve supported DOVE Center in other ways in the past, but in honor of Kristy and in her memory, we felt we should step up and lead out this fundraising effort,” said Gibbons. “It won’t bring her back, but it helps soften our sadness, and we hope it inspires others to step up and donate as well.”
DOVE relies on the generosity of event sponsors so that more community donations go directly to programs and services that help clients find safety and healing.
“We are so blessed to have Joe’s leadership in support of our efforts,” added Boyer. “He has a genuine heart and sincere desire to help others, and it is truly inspirational.”
The gala will begin with a social hour and silent auction followed by a beautifully catered sit-down dinner, after which Rivers will speak. To purchase tickets or make a donation, visit dovecenter.org. For information on sponsorship opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (435) 817-2219.
For emergency shelter and other questions about domestic violence or sexual assault, please call DOVE’s 24-hour helpline at (435) 628-0458.