The annual Women of Significance Luncheon to benefit Genesis House was an overwhelming success this year. Attendance was so good that organizers are thinking they will have to move the event to a larger venue next year.
The luncheon was held Saturday at the Waynesville Methodist Church and was attended by nearly 200 people.
Attendees were able to pay a suggested donation price for items placed for display on tables around the room and were served lunch as they listened to the program.
Good Samaritan Executive Director Connie Chambers said, “We were thrilled with the response of the community.”
Chambers said she felt as if for the first time the community really “got it” that domestic violence is happening in their own backyard.
The luncheon featured a video telling the story of former shelter resident Shirley Mitchell who has long since left domestic violence behind. Mitchell is currently the Good Samaritan Resource Center Manager.
Mitchell’s intensely personal video had many in the room wiping tears from their eyes as they heard the story of a well-known person in the community.
Rev. Cindy Dack gave the keynote speech, telling her story of a brutal attack in which she was raped, beaten, stabbed and shot bringing tears to the eyes of many audience members once again.
Dack said she lost her identity. “I became a case number. I became a patient number,” Dack said.
Dack discussed how important help is for women recovering from abuse and the message was heard, according to Chambers. The Luncheon raised almost $ 7,000, a good portion of which came strictly from donations and not ticket sales.