Women's Resources of Monroe County to host 10th annual Black & White Gala

DELAWARE WATER GAP, MONROE COUNTY (WOLF) -- “I came to Women’s Resources about six years ago. I was a victim of domestic violence and they opened the doors to me and were able to give me the support and empowered me to make changes in my life, so I couldn’t possibly be here without them.”

Women’s Resources of Monroe County is the domestic and sexual violence center for the entire county.

It offers countless services including a 24-hour hotline, counseling, and an emergency shelter for women and women with children escaping domestic violence.

Fanny was one of those women.

And after coming back as a volunteer, she was hired as a counselor at the very shelter she lived in.

“It gave me great joy to be able to do that because I was able to give back that same compassion, that same guidance that was given to me,” Fanny said.

She says having gone through a similar experience as the women she counsels gives them a special bond.

“To me, Women’s Resources became that place where I can go and shed my burden of fear and shame that comes along with being in an abusive relationship, so having someone that can relate to that I feel creates a wonderful opportunity to be able to grow and know that they too can overcome it because I did.”

Women’s Resources receives federal grants for funding, but it also hosts fundraisers, and the biggest one is the Black and White gala.

Last year it raised $100,000.

“Its going to be a fun evening of dinner, dancing, we have a live band that’ll play that night. We’ll also have a live auction we’re going to be doing. We have some really exciting trips, exotic getaways, an African safari that you can bid on. A very large wine collection you can bid on,” Lauren Peterson, Executive Director, Women’s Resources of Monroe County, said.

The gala got its start 10 years ago at the hands of Sharon Sinkevich, Women’s Resources Board President, gala honorary chair, and Stroudsburg boutique owner.

“Government funding was being cut then, as it has been for the last 10 years. We had to find a way that we would be able to reach out to community and all cross-sections of the community. So we thought maybe to try something that would be fun and elegant,” Sinkevich said.

The simple mission behind Women’s Resources and the gala is very close to her heart.

“I may not look the part, but I don’t know what the face of abuse looks like, but I’m a survivor and so I promised God that I would pay it forward if I was able to overcome psychological abuse that then went to physical abuse. And I have to say 10 years ago, 11 years ago people weren’t talking about these things. And because I’m a business owner in Monroe County and a person that does a lot in the community, it was sort of hard for me to share that information, but I promised God that if I got through it, I would pay it forward.”

The Black and White gala is being held May 13 at Kalahari Resort in Pocono Manor from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m.

You can get your ticket on the Women's Resources website, here, and find out more about volunteer opportunities, here.

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