CHARLESTON, WV —October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As licensed shelters around the state are honoring the observance in various ways, the statewide West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WVCADV) is planning its 2023 Purple Gala.
“The annual gala is a way for us to celebrate what we’ve accomplished, and honor the folks who have gone above and beyond during the year to pursue survivor justice and provide inclusive survivor services,” said Joyce Yedlosky, Team Coordinator for WVCADV.
The Coalition confers a number of honors every year, through the Diane Reese Advocacy Award, the Pinnacle Award, the Visibility Award, and the Purple Ribbon Awards.
Tonia Thomas, also a WVCADV Team Coordinator, explained, “There’ll be a short, meaningful award ceremony and a keynote speaker, followed by a lot of music, dancing, eating, and socializing. Our theme this year focuses on the work done ‘Through the Decades’—so we’re encouraging guests to come in an outfit themed around their favorite decade. There should be a lot of fun nostalgia, extending to the music.”
The speaker this year is Dr. Carolyn “Bridgett” Morrison, a survivor whose journey eventually led her to pursue her career in medicine, where her work has spanned being an ER doctor, a primary care doctor, a hospitalist, a physician in a nursing home, and most recently, the public health officer and medical director of the Greenbrier County Health Department.
“Her story is incredibly inspiring,” said Thomas. “We’re so honored to have Dr. Morrison speak at our awards gala this year.”
The Purple Gala is also the Coalition’s largest fundraiser of the year. While WVCADV is mostly grant funded, where those grants fall short of needs, the raised funds can be used to fill the gaps.
WVCADV provides trainings to shelter workers, advocates, law enforcement, court personnel, and more on issues relating to domestic violence. According to the latest annual report, training was provided to more than 1,300 people who brought critical information and skills back to their communities to share with colleagues, coworkers, public servants, and other community leaders. Additionally, with multiple areas of expertise, the Coalition provides in-depth problem-solving and support to 189 domestic violence programs, allied agencies and survivors across the state, addressing specific complex issues survivors face when trying to find their way safely out of an abusive relationship.
Sponsors of this year’s Purple Gala include West Virginia Public Broadcasting, ACLU-WV, Fairness West Virginia, Reticular Media, Hartman Cosco, and more—with additional supporters like WV Free. WV Legal Aid, and Kingery & Co. advertising their support in the printed event program.
You can also buy tickets or just donate below.