Night of HOPE spreads word about domestic violence

Tony Komada

Lynnsey Veach, Staff Reporter

Charleston residents and Eastern students lined the front window of Jackson Avenue Coffee looking at different auction items while others in the back room listened to music in support of the prevention and awareness of domestic violence.

The Housing Outreach Prevention and Education organization held their 15th annual Night of HOPE at the JAC on Saturday.

Dan Reible, owner of the JAC and a HOPE board member, said thank you to everyone who donated throughout the event.

“(HOPE) is a wonderful organization that gives help to people who really need it,” Reible said.

Fundraising during the event included a raffle with over $1,000 worth of prizes and a silent auction including artwork from various donors. The coffee shop also donated 20 percent of the day’s sales to the cause.

Gaye Harrison has volunteered for HOPE for over ten years and has also performed with her band Motherlode in front of a full audience.

Harrison said she hopes to not only entertain but to bring attention to the needs HOPE has in order to spread awareness about domestic violence.

The evening consisted of food, live music performed by Lodestar, Bosco Sticks, Big Blue Mountain, Motherlode and Tequila Mockingbyrd.

Peter and Holly Andrews, attendees at the event, come to the event each year not just for the silent auction or raffle but also to support HOPE and its cause.

Peter Andrews said it is not easy for people to see the need for donations for HOPE.

“Not a lot of state and government funding is given to help,” Peter Andrews said. “The music and performances just make (the night) even better.”

Angie Hunt, the housing program director of HOPE, said the organization has always needed more volunteers to help with events, including Bowls of HOPE in the spring and also a summer rummage sale.

Hunt said there are additional ways to get involved with HOPE and the cause of domestic violence on campus, including the Women’s Empowerment League and a class students can take in the women’s studies program called women, gender and violence.

“We want Eastern students to get involved with HOPE because domestic violence does affect them,” Hunt said. “Dating violence is a very real concern on college campuses.”

Hunt also encourages students to become a member of the Housing Advisory Committee of HOPE, an area in need of participation because they have lost many student members since May.

Donations from the Night of HOPE traditionally go to education, prevention and awareness for domestic violence, but because of recent budget cuts the donations from the event may go toward the necessities the shelter and organization need, Hunt said.

“Anyone can write a check, but this is a pleasant way (of helping),” Peter Andrews said.

All donations from the night will be given to HOPE of East Central Illinois, to help their mission “to empower persons to live independent, non-violent lives,” according to their website. Donations will be used to help provide the basic household necessities for shelters, as well as to well as promote awareness and education about domestic violence.

If interested in helping out with or donating to the organization, students can call 217-348-5931, and donations can be sent to their main office, P.O. Box 732, Charleston, IL.


Lynnsey Veach can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]