The Women’s Center’s “Reaching Forward, Giving Back” gala at the Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner was a big hit this year, with over 300 supporters in attendance.
Fairfax Sheriff Stacey Kincaid shared her personal story as a victim of, and witness to, domestic violence and credited The Women’s Center for helping her mother become a survivor more than 35 years ago.
In honor and memory of her mother, Kincaid announced a contribution to create the Ruth Lynn Cupo scholarship fund to help single mothers re-establish their lives after escaping domestic violence.
The evening was emceed for the second year in a row by NBC4’s Doug Kammerer. Playing emcee and auctioneer, Kammerer entertained the crowd as he encouraged guests to contribute to the work The Women’s Center does for the community.
Sally Turner, the center’s board president, introduced gala chair Greg Baroni, chairman and CEO of Attain, and the vice chair, Tim Hurlebaus, president of CGI Federal. Shirley Clark, the center’s executive director, described the area’s needs and the center’s impact over the last 40-plus years as she introduced Melissa Pearson, a former client. Pearson shared her story of escaping her dangerous situation and ultimately finding the help and happiness she and her children deserved.
“This year’s annual gala, like so many of the The Women’s Center’s exceptional programs and events, was filled with the kind of moving testimony that drives essential awareness of the needs of women and families in our communities and the extraordinary services the center provides to meet them,” Baroni said. “Moreover, the gala sparked vital support from generous patrons to help keep services free and subsidized for those in need and to help the center to continue fulfilling its mission for many more years to come.”
“I believe the strongest communities are there to help each other in moments of challenge or deep despair,” Hurlebaus said. “We at CGI are proud to support the center because it provides an open door for people when they need it most, with practical steps to move forward in their lives.”
Since 1974, The Women’s Center has provided mental health counseling, support and education to the metropolitan area to help people live healthy, stable and productive lives. Serving over 4,000 women, men and children annually, the center is also an important part of the safety net helping victims of domestic violence re-establish their lives. The center is located in Vienna, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.