Archway Society for Domestic Peace received a $20,000 donation from a Kelowna-based developer and property management company from Ontario, and the society said it couldn’t come at a better time.
“Domestic violence has been at epidemic levels for years, but since the arrival of COVID-19, we’ve seen increased needs for our services,” co-executive director Sherry Demetrick said.
The donation from Highstreet Ventures and Skyline Living was made as part of a recent celebration of the grand opening of Vernon’s Creekview Heights on Deleenheer Road.
Developed by Highstreet, construction was completed in June. Skyline Living, of Guelph, Ont., will manage the three-building property.
“Highstreet is dedicated to create a positive impact in the communities that we build in,” Highstreet vice-president of development Christina Wilson said. “This year has had a tremendous effect on everyone’s living situation, which is why we selected the Archway Society for this donation.”
Skyline Living’s vice-president echoed the sentiments.
“Skyline Living is committed to building strong, caring and vibrant communities and to working with companies who share that vision,” BJ Santavy said. “We are pleased to have joined with Highstreet in contributing to Archway Society, which plays such an important role for children and families in Vernon.”
Archway Society for Domestic Peace offers a transition house, counselling and justice-related programs. It has also introduced supportive programs for young parents, women at risk of violence and homelessness and children who have suffered abuse.
But, like any other non-profit organization, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has put added pressures on the organization while need for its services continued to increase.
“The abuse is not going to stop; a victim’s trauma is not going to be put on hold while this pandemic is happening,” Archway’s co-executive director Micki Materi said.
The society’s primary fundraiser, the Little Black Dress Event, was cancelled due to COVID-19 and its associated health orders and restrictions on gatherings.
“This donation will help ensure we are able to continue to support women, children and families in our community,” Materi said.
Next month, the society is hosting a virtual fundraiser in lieu of its Little Black Dress Event.
The Black Dress and Tuxedo Virtual Event on Dec. 11 will feature performances by Andrew Johns via Zoom. Guests will be treated to a “Party in a Bag Kit” including three bottles of wine, a cheese and meat board from the Wedge and Evolve gin from Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery. Dinner from the Med can be added on for an additional $20.
Tickets start at $150 and are available on Canadahelps.org.