By Rhonda Massad
First annual gala raises close to $130,000
At the first annual West Island Women’s Shelter gala held on November 17, at Chateau Vaudreuil, President Sandra Patone stunned more than 250 guests with some statistics from her first four years serving.
“More than 21,000 calls have come in over the 24/7 crisis hotline, 838 applications for admission, 201 women, and 255 children were housed in the past four years,” Patone explained.
The WIWS’s mission is to warmly welcome women victims of conjugal violence without any judgment. The shelter provides a haven for women and children in need of support. The shelter promotes social, economic and political equality.
“I can’t thank the team at the shelter enough for all they have done for me,” said Ingrid, a victim of conjugal violence and client of the WIWS. “Thank you all for your kindness and generosity to all of you give generously to help women like me. It took me 15 years to have the courage to leave my marriage. From that first phone call, I felt supported. When I arrived with my daughter, who was seven years old at that time, I felt safe. It has been two years since my six-week stay at the shelter, and I still use their services. It is very hard after 15 years of psychological abuse not to go back.”
Honorary Chair, Tony Loffreda, Vice-Chairman of RBC Wealth Management broke bread with Quebec Municipal Affairs Minister Martin Coiteux, Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao, Pierrefonds-Dollard MP Frank Baylis, Mayor of Dollard Des Ormeaux, Alex Bottausci and Mayor of Pierrefonds, Jim Beis, and more than 250 guests. The evening was hosted by Global TV news anchor, Jamie Orchard who broadcast live on the 6 o’clock news.
The WIWS believes that women and children victims of conjugal violence are not responsible for the abuse, that women have the right to autonomy, respect, and freedom. The Shelter helps women gain control over their life through solidarity between women, egalitarian relationships and defense of their rights.
Should you or someone you know wish to contact the WIWS please visit www.wiws.ca or call 514-620-4845 .