Peace House is ready to bring back a live luncheon fundraiser in the wake of COVID-19 and has its eyes fixed on May 12 at Promontory’s Double Deer Club.
“This is the first in-person luncheon we’ve been able to have in three years,” said board member Kate Margolis, the luncheon co-chair with fellow board member Harriet Berg. “One of the most exciting parts for us is to see everybody’s beautiful faces who support Peace House in one room. So we couldn’t be more thrilled.”
The event will run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will feature keynote speaker Leslie Morgan Steiner, Washington Post columnist, domestic violence survivor and author of “The Naked Truth,” a memoir that addresses post-divorce aging and sexuality, said Berg.
“We have wanted her to come to Park City to speak in person for the past three years, and she’s been incredibly flexible,” Berg said. “We’ve repeatedly canceled and (re-extended) the invitation. So three times is a charm, and we’re excited to have her speak.”
Margolis has known Steiner for years.
“Leslie was on a board of a nonprofit I worked for in Washington, D.C., and she and I had been talking about this for quite some time,” she said. “She’s been out to Park City before, but this will be the first time speaking.”
The event, which local Emmy Award-winning newscaster Bill Redeker will emcee, will also include a first-ever paddle raise auction, according to Berg.
“This is very different from an auction that happens at most fundraisers,” she said. “People will have the opportunity to raise their paddles and donate to specific services we really need for Peace House.”
Some of these services include providing a family with one month of safe and secure transitional housing to providing a family with school supplies for a year, Berg said.
“These are things that are so needed for Peace House and our community,” she said.
This year’s fundraising goal is $350.000, and supporters can donate online or at the event, according to Margolis.
Peace House has already raised $124,852.74 as of Monday, she said.
“The Marriott Daughters Foundation is our matching sponsor, and they will donate up to $50,000 in grants,” Margolis said.
Berg and Margolis also know that some Peace House supporters may not be able to attend the event that raises money for programs that help prevent domestic violence in Summit and Wasatch counties. So they made some adjustments.
“Not only are we doing an in-person luncheon at Promontory, with 250 guests, we’re also offering a virtual component,” Berg said. “People can purchase a ticket and log on from wherever they are and be a part of the program.”
In addition to the paddle raise and keynote address by Steiner, Peace House Executive Director Kendra Wyckoff will give an update on the state of Peace House and programming.
“We currently have 26 beds in emergency housing, 34 beds in transitional housing, and they are completely full,” Berg said. “The need in Summit and Wasatch counties is incredible and with COVID, it has become all that more important for the community to support these survivors, because victims are stuck with their abusers during lockdown.”
Domestic violence, which happens to both women and men, is a complicated issue and is full of misconceptions, according to Berg.
“I think that a lot of people who live in our perfect town of Park City believe that this can’t happen here, she said. “But it happens everywhere.”
Another misconception is that it should be easy for victims to leave their abusers, Margolis said.
“Domestic violence usually happens gradually,” she said. “And you need services like counseling, safe-shelter and people who will listen to you and help you get out of the situation.”
Peace House offers these services while teaching victims skills that will help them move forward, said Margolis.
“This is what Peace House does so beautifully,” she said. “They walk alongside their clients and provide them with what they need. I’ve worked in many different shelters and Peace House is the most giving, kind and supportive shelter I’ve ever been involved with.”