15th annual NELCWIT fundraiser set for Thursday

Amanda Sanderson, NELCWIT’s acting executive director, pictured speaking at an event in September 2023, said Thursday’s “Power to Persevere” event is an opportunity to celebrate everyone who supports the organization’s mission to eradicate sexual and domestic violence from its communities.

Amanda Sanderson, NELCWIT’s acting executive director, pictured speaking at an event in September 2023, said Thursday’s “Power to Persevere” event is an opportunity to celebrate everyone who supports the organization’s mission to eradicate sexual and domestic violence from its communities. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 04-16-2024 11:26 AM

GREENFIELD — The Friends of NELCWIT will hold the 15th annual “Power to Persevere” fundraiser on Thursday, and this year’s event will be the first to include a dance element.

The celebration, set for 5 to 8 p.m. at the Guiding Star Grange on Chapman Street, will include appetizers, a cash bar, and contra dancing with caller Steve Howland and music by All Over the Map with Becky Hollingsworth and Rebecca Weiss. The program will also highlight the New England Learning Center for Women in Transition’s years of service to the community and honor those affected by domestic and sexual violence. NELCWIT offers sexual and domestic violence crisis services in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region.

“This is the first year that we’ve decided to add a dance element to it,” said Mary Kociela, chair of the Friends of NELCWIT, which organizes the fundraiser. “So this is very different for us and we’re really excited about it.”

She explained the event started as a breakfast at the Blue Heron Restaurant in Sunderland, and Diane Patrick — who then was the first lady of Massachusetts — was the featured speaker. Kociela said the fundraiser is an enormous help to NELCWIT, typically generating around $20,000 each year.

“I would love to raise $25,000 to $30,000 this year, if possible,” she said.

Amanda Sanderson, NELCWIT’s acting executive director, said the “Power to Persevere” event is an opportunity to celebrate everyone who supports the organization’s mission to eradicate violence from its communities.

“It’s a special evening, because it is one of the few times during the year when survivors and advocates can feel and see the groundswell of support from the community for the work they do or for what they’ve persevered through,” Sanderson said in a statement.

To join the event or to make a donation, go to tinyurl.com/PowerToPersevere2024.

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Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.