Peace House readies its annual spring luncheon |

Peace House readies its annual spring luncheon

Last year, Peace House, a nonprofit organization dedicated to stopping family violence and abuse in Summit and Wasatch counties, sheltered nearly 100 women and children and one man.

The combined average of the total days they stayed at the shelter was 3,300 nights, which is double from the previous year.

To help maintain the services and items needed for those and additional stays, Peace House holds an annual spring luncheon fundraiser.

This year’s event will be held on Wednesday, May 7, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1505 White Pine Canyon Rd., from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The event is free, but donations will be accepted.

Five years ago, executive director Jane Patten and the board of directors discussed different ways to raise money.

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"As we were starting to energize and change our style of fundraising, we decided to combine an awareness of what Peace House does, how we do it and why we do it with fundraising," Patten said during an interview with The Park Record. "We wanted to do something that was low-key, very pleasant and not a hard-hitting, expensive fundraiser."

They came up with the idea of hosting a spring luncheon.

"Although we do ask for donations at the end of the luncheon, we made it possible for anyone to attend it for free," Patten explained. "Since we started hosting the luncheon, we’ve doubled our donations, which is wonderful."

The event is sponsored by Zion’s Bank and one of the Peace House board of directors, Marilyn Darby, owner of Booster Juice, is contacting a number of restaurants and caterers for the food.

"We’ll have salad, soup, bread and alternatives for those who want to eat gluten-free," Patten said. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s very, very nice."

The most exciting part of the presentation for Patten will start at the beginning when Peace House honors Bob Wells, from the real estate development and resort planning department of Deer Valley.

"Without Bob, our present shelter would have never been built," Patten said. "If you know Bob, you know he’s quiet and soft spoken, but he knows everyone and everyone who knows him loves and respects him."

Wells has been involved with Peace House since the beginning.

"He helped us through the first number of years and got people to know the importance of supporting Peace House," Patten said. "Deer Valley donated the land and he, along with other leaders in the community, worked hard to find a place to build the shelter and got the construction going and they also drew in various community partners to get it done. So we’re thrilled that he will be a part of the luncheon."

Not only will attendees be able to eat and socialize, but also learn more about the Peace House.

"This year, we’re excited because the theme is about honoring our past, but also letting people know how we’re different today," Patten said. "When we first started, we began by educating people about domestic violence by talking about it."

During the luncheons over the years, various speakers have informed attendees of Peace House’s new developments.

"One year, we had Betsy Ricks, who is the coordinator of our prevention education in the schools, talked about what she teaches in the schools," Patten said. "Last year, we talked about how the community can be helpful by ending domestic violence by understanding what it looks like, how to respond to it in a supportive and caring way and how to refer victims to Peace House and the services we provide.

"There are people in our community who need help and the people who attend the luncheon can help by supporting someone they know who needs to get out of domestic violent situation," she said.

This year, part of the presentation will be about services that Peace House didn’t have back in its formative years.

One is a children’s advocate.

"Any child that has experienced a household with domestic violence suffers from some kind of trauma," Patten said. "Our child advocate works to turn around and create an intervention so the child learns to understand what a non-abusive household looks like and to integrate into new schools.

"She also helps the parent to provide the parenting with an understanding that the child needs their special help, too," Patten said. "In the past, the child was considered an extension of the abused parent, but now we see that the children need our services as well."

The other is a new therapist.

"She’ll talk about the clinical side of dealing with domestic violence," Patten said. "In addition, we will also share our future plans, including the construction of a new transitional housing facility."

The final guest speaker will be Jill Anderson, who is the executive director for the Community Abuse Prevention Services Agency in Logan.

"She’s a wonderful woman and will talk about their transitional housing program and the success they have had," Patten said. "That will help our community understand why we want to have transitional housing and what difference it will make to those we serve. The way they have designed their campus-like facility has been an inspiration to us."

Peace House will host its free annual spring luncheon at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Social Hall, 1505 White Pine Canyon Rd., on Wednesday, May 7, from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome, and RSVPs are suggested. RSVPs by May 4 can be made by calling 435-658-4739 or by emailing .

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