February 16, 2010 — For two decades, the National Association of Women MBAs at University of Virginia's Darden School of Business has been a strong supporter of SHE, the Shelter for Help in Emergency in Charlottesville.
That support will continue on Friday when the association hosts its 20th annual dinner and auction at the Boar's Head Inn in Charlottesville. The Red Carpet Gala will be held from 7 to 11 p.m.
All proceeds from the event, which will feature a sit-down dinner, entertainment by the band Blues Jam, and a live and silent auction, will be donated to SHE. More than 300 people from across the Darden, U.Va. and Charlottesville communities are expected.
Last year, the SHE auction raised $22,710 to help the shelter provide a variety of services aimed at empowering victims of domestic violence and creating a community of support.
Since 1979, SHE has offered a variety of services, including a shelter, 24-hour hotline, counseling, case management, children's programs, legal advocacy, educational programs and transitional housing. In fiscal 2009, SHE provided nearly 4,000 nights of shelter to nearly 200 women and children, an increase in nights of shelter by almost 30 percent from the previous year. Hotline calls increased by 12 percent, to 1,100.
Carol Krohn, president of the SHE board of directors, said donations to the shelter will be particularly welcome this year.
"We're facing a pretty grim funding environment generally," Krohn said. "Our fiscal year 2009 budget was about $800,000, and our funding is almost evenly divided among three source streams: local government grants from the areas we serve, competitive health and human services grants and private donations. All those sources are feeling a pinch right now."
Darden second-year student Amanda Foster, who is serving as the auction coordinator, said the increase in demand for services is not surprising.
"Historically, SHE has experienced a correlation between down economic times and an increased need for the shelter's services," said Foster. "It is especially important for the Darden community to show its support this year."
The organization provides a forum for students, alumnae, faculty and female professionals to discuss the issues and challenges women face in their careers and offers activities that build awareness of women in leadership positions. It sponsors social and professional activities at Darden, as well as providing volunteer opportunities within the community.