Peace House, an anti-domestic violence nonprofit, welcomes spring with annual luncheon
Peace House annual spring luncheon
11 a.m., Thursday, May 9
St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1505 White Pine Canyon Rd
Peace House is set to welcome the warm weather and budding flowers with its annual spring luncheon next week.
The event, which is the anti-domestic abuse nonprofit’s largest fundraiser of the year, will be held on Thursday, May 9, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1505 White Pine Canyon Road. Doors open at 11 a.m. and lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. The event is currently sold out, but volunteer spots are available.
The program, which starts at noon, will be emceed by Tom Kelly, former vice president of communications at U.S. Ski and Snowboard. It will feature presentations by Peace House executive director Kendra Wyckoff, board member Karen Marriott and victim advocate Kit Gruelle.
Gruelle is a domestic violence survivor and has worked as an advocate for battered women and children for nearly 32 years, said Kate Margolis, who helps organize the luncheon.
Gruelle, who works with the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, has trained advocates, criminal justice professionals and health care providers about domestic violence, according to Margolis.
Gruelle also was the subject of “Private Violence,” a domestic-violence documentary that premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
“She will talk about her experiences and her work,” Margolis said. “We’re excited to hear what she’s going to say to our Park City Community.”
The luncheon is also a way to educate the public about Peace House and its new community campus that is scheduled to open in June, she said.
The project is overseen by former Peace House executive director Jane Patten.
“I just saw Jane the other day, and I almost burst into tears to see how it’s coming along,” she said. “We’re lucky, because the builder, New Star, has been amazing to work with. We’re ready to get all of our clients in there and start on this new phase of Peace House.”
The new campus will include transitional housing composed of 12 self-sufficient suites where families can live during their recovery, as well as multiple gathering spaces for support classes, safe interactions and eight emergency shelter units, Margolis said.
“The current shelter fills up quickly, and we do have to turn away people,” she said. “The new facility will help us take in more people, and the transitional housing will be an amazing step to give victims the time and ability to get back up on their feet.”
Last year, Peace House provided shelter for 112 people, said development director Sally Tauber.
In addition to the sheltering those individuals, Peace House received 739 domestic violence calls to its emergency helpline, and provided 3,051 total nights of safety for victims, according to Tauber.
“Nights of safety are the total numbers of nights we had someone occupy our shelter,” she explained. “That is the 112 people multiplied by how many nights they stayed with us.”
Some victims stay for one night, while others may stay up to three months, Margolis added.
“The government regulation is 30 days, but you can actually re-enter someone if they meet the criteria for re-entry,” Tauber said. “They can do that up to 90 days. After that, they need to find other services, which we help them to connect with.”
Margolis, who volunteers at the shelter, said she answers emergency calls and helps Peace House clients frequently.
“There’s never a time I don’t have a client who comes down to talk or requests a service,” she said.
In addition to helping domestic violence victims in times of crisis, Peace House presented 561 community awareness events last year, Tauber said.
“We also reached more than 10,000 students, parents and faculty members through our prevention education presentations,” she said.
The money raised from spring luncheon tickets and donations will help Peace House continue these services, said Margolis.
“I’m incredibly impressed with what Peace House continues to do,” she said. “It walks alongside their clients through these trying times.”
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