For Hometown News
The Domestic Abuse Council's annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month Luncheon was at the Halifax River Yacht Club in Daytona Beach recently and included installation of a new board of directors.
More than 130 guests listened to a heart-wrenching story given by a local survivor and State Attorney RJ Larizza stressed the complexities of the social crisis.
Cheryl Fuller, CEO of the Domestic Abuse Council, gave an annual recap of the progress and impact the organization has had in the last year.
"We provided safe, confidential shelter to 219 adults and 166 of their children for a total of 10,540 shelter nights," Ms Fuller said. "That's an average of 29 individuals in our shelter every night. Our shelter bed night count increased 22 percent in just one year and our numbers continue to grow.
"We completed extensive renovations in our residential kitchen with funds from a Community Development Block Grant administered by Volusia County. We replaced carpet throughout the shelter and we had a facility generator installed with funds from FEMA," Ms. Fuller said.
The theme of this year's luncheon was "Linked together, we will make the difference."
Newly installed Chairwoman Sherrilee Stoudt wrapped up her speech by saying, "As we return to our normal routines, I hope that what you heard today stays with you for a long time and that you talk to your friends and families about our luncheon. I hope that each time you see a chain or a link that rather than thinking of the confines of that chain you think about the flexibility and strength of that chain and that you recognize the veracity of each seemingly insignificant link in the chain."
Judge Dawn Fields inducted the new Board of Directors, including Ms. Stoudt, First Vice Chairwoman Michele Simonsen, Second Vice Chairwoman Denise Allen, Secretary Lt. William Walden, Treasurer Trever Henderson, Glenna Colley, Kimberly Dillon, Sally Gardiner, Joeretha Hayes, Dr. Diana Lee, Pastor John Long, Cindy Oakley Paulik and John Power.
Outgoing Board members Jessica Scott and Helen Scott, (no relation) were both honored for their service to the agency.
The council also recently received a $1,000 check from BJ's Wholesale Club as part of the new store opening in Port Orange.
The council will apply the grant to local programs.
For information, visit domesticabusecouncil.com. The Domestic Abuse Hotline is (800) 500-1119.