Gala raises $10K for CJ’s Place

Published 11:04 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Last week’s benefit for the construction of CJ’s Place, a long-term transitional housing project for victims of domestic violence, raised about $10,000 for the building’s construction.

“We were hoping for around $10,000, and that’s what we’re expecting,” said T. Floyd “Skip” Irby, president of the Genieve Shelter board of directors. “Considering the economic times, we were pleased at what we were able to raise for that.”

About 90 people attended the intimate gathering at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. The attendees dined on hors d’oeuvres, listened to a guest speaker and bid on about a dozen items in a live auction, including a beach fishing trip, an antique trunk and several pieces of framed artwork.

The Genieve Shelter partnered with the Suffolk chapter of Links, Inc., an international organization of professional African-American women, to put on the event. Many of its members were in attendance Saturday night.

“We were especially pleased to be working with the Links group,” Irby said. “A lot of their people were there. It turned out to be a very nice, enjoyable evening.”

The guest speaker was Tiffany Daniels, a support engineer for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and a competitor in the NASCAR Camping World Series East. As a 24-year-old woman working and competing in what is largely a man’s world, Daniels had plenty to say about self-confidence.

The proceeds from the fundraising gala will pay for construction costs associated with CJ’s Place, Irby said. The building, located within Suffolk, should be completed by the end of the year, he said. Construction began in June.

“We had a good summer for construction,” Irby said. “There were not many weather delays, and we were pretty much enclosed once we did have some rainy spells.”

CJ’s Place will be a four-apartment living space for abused women and their families to live for up to two years while they get back on their feet. Though run by the same organization, it is different from the Genieve Shelter, because the Genieve Shelter provides only up to 90 days of emergency housing.

Though the benefit was successful, Irby said there still is more work to do to get CJ’s Place completely funded.

“We anticipate having to raise another $250,000,” Irby said. “We still have more to raise, and we will certainly continue to engage in fundraising activities in the communities.”

Irby said he hopes people continue to remember the Genieve Shelter is in the community to provide help and resources for victims of domestic violence.

“Especially with this being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we just want people to remember the Genieve Shelter is there,” Irby said.