The London Abused Women’s Centre (LAWC) is gearing up for its 23rd annual International Women’s Day Breakfast on Friday, the first in-person celebration for the event since the start of the pandemic.
This year’s event will see attendees gather in person at the DoubleTree by Hilton at 300 King St. from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., with keynote speakers, the city’s largest silent auction as well as a live auction, and special guest appearances from Olympic gold medallist Damian Warner and jingle dancer Sierra Jamieson.
“I am feeling very happy and proud that our community is able to come together to celebrate the achievements and successes of women and girls in our community as we prepare for International Women’s Day,” said Jennifer Dunn, executive director of LAWC.
The annual breakfast is the centre’s largest fundraising event, with all proceeds going toward front line-services for abused, trafficked and harassed women and girls, which have seen a consistent increase in urgent service demand since the pandemic started.
In 2021, the LAWC reported more than 11,700 service interactions, including more than 6,000 individual counselling group urgent support interactions, and more than 5,700 service calls.
“We need to address these serious issues (and) we need to be able to attend to those rising requests for help and for service,” Fabienne Haller, fund development co-ordinator with LAWC and organizer of the breakfast.
“It’s also really important to us to take this time and offer an event where we celebrate women and girls and celebrate all their achievements on the social, economic, cultural and political level.”
Last year, the centre surpassed its fundraising goal, raising over $60,000. With a goal of $50,000 for this year’s event, as of Monday, all tickets are sold out.
“We’ve always had incredible support from the London community, and I think it’s just important that we acknowledge what women and girls contribute to society,” Haller said.
Dunn said the organization “can’t wait” to see what Friday will bring.
“It is so important to continue to support women and girls in our community, and to show women and girls in our community that people will come together to support them not just in times of trouble, but to celebrate achievement, and to celebrate being a woman,” Dunn said.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual or gender-based violence, contact LAWC at 519-432-2204 or the Abused Women’s Helpline at 519-642-3000.
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