Fundraiser breaks the silence on abuse

Justin Crann
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Karen Closs struggles to describe what the Silent Voices fundraiser means to her and the Moose Jaw Transition House (MJTH).

Darrell Andrei, one of the organizers of the Silent Voices fundraiser.

"The financial benefit to the shelter is immense," Closs, the executive director of the MJTH, told the Times-Herald on Monday. "But what we appreciate more is that someone else recognizes the issue. It isn't their job to make others aware and help them understand, but they've taken it on."

Closs said her organization "doesn't plan a lot of fundraisers" of its own because "they are very time intensive."

The MJTH puts its focus on front-line support work, she added, but when others make it the beneficiary of a fundraiser, the Transition House is very grateful.

Silent Voices is completely volunteer-organized and driven. It features live music, raffles and silent auctions, and speeches from several community figures.

It exists to raise awareness about violence against women and raise funds for the Transition House.

In its first two years, the event raised $26,000 for the shelter. It is heading into its third.

Closs said the support for the event "speaks volumes" about Moose Jaw's community and its supportive nature, which has kept the Transition House open for more than 35 years.

The fundraiser was started by a group of individuals as a tribute to their friend.

Darrell Andrei, one of the event's organizers, said that he was "pretty overwhelmed" by the response Silent Voices received in its first year.

"That first year, when I went out and put up posters and sold tickets for the event, a few younger women told me they were going through this phase (of abuse)," he said. "It's sad, but it is going on."

Silent Voices will be held at Cosmo Senior Citizens Centre on Mar. 29. Tickets are still available for the fundraiser, and Andrei advises those who are interested in attending to purchase them in advance. They cost $15 each and can be purchased by phone at (306) 693-4792 or (306) 630-5742.

Organizations: Transition House, Times-Herald, Cosmo Senior Citizens Centre

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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