MUSCATINE, Iowa–22 years ago, members of the community put on a gala evening to support the Muscatine Center for Social Action’s domestic violence shelter, which operates entirely on donations, and to offer a fresh start or “new beginning” to women and their children leaving abusive situations and starting a new life. The event grew into the annual New Beginnings fundraiser, providing much of the money the domestic violence shelter needs. In 2020, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly canceled plans for New Beginnings, and continuing concerns postponed the event again in 2021 and 2022. This spring, Muscatine Center for Social Action looks forward to hosting New Beginnings once again the evening of April 15 at Geneva Golf and Country Club (3100 Bidwell Road in Muscatine).
A night full of fun, guests can enjoy a full meal served at an interactive food station. Silent and live auctions, door prizes, a 50/50 raffle, and a game of chance grid will give people the opportunity to win many fantastic prizes. A former client of the domestic shelter will also speak at the event as well, sharing why supporting it makes such a huge difference in the lives of the people it assists.
After three years without a major in person fundraiser, Muscatine Center for Social Action feels excited to bring New Beginnings back and to bring in much needed funds to make it possible for the shelter to provide a safe place for women and children to live, the case management necessary to help women take the steps they need to achieve independence and stability, and provide them the supplies they need to start afresh. “We have set a hefty goal for ourselves this year and hope to raise $200,000 for the domestic violence shelter,” said Muscatine Center for Social Action Resource Development Officer Nik Horn: “Statistics show that once a life-saving resource such as the DV shelter is lost in a community, there is a very small chance of it ever returning. We would like to see our shelter doors remain open for years to come to help those in our community and surrounding areas fleeing violent living situations.”
Those who would like to attend this year’s New Beginnings gala may purchase tickets for $75 a piece by emailing Horn. For those who would like to support the domestic violence shelter but cannot make it to the event, Muscatine Center for Social Action (located at 312 Iowa Avenue in Muscatine) will once again have a limited edition Isabelle Bloom figurine with purple elements on it for sale for $35 a piece. This year’s design, a charming gnome with a purple sparkly hat hiding a beautiful purple flower behind his back, will make a lovely piece of home décor or a thoughtful gift for anyone passionate about ending domestic violence.
One of the highlights of the year for supporters of the domestic violence shelter, New Beginnings gives people in Muscatine County the opportunity to show their support for survivors in need. “Along with domestic violence comes a lot of shame and embarrassment,” stated Muscatine Center for Social Action Domestic Shelter Manager Judy Yates. “We need to let victims know that we stand by them, care about them, and they do not need to be ashamed–we are here to help!”