Almost 200 people gathered at the Hotel Californian on Sunday, February 25 for Domestic Violence Solutions’ 10th Annual Luncheon – Stories of Resilience. The afternoon not only celebrated DVS providing safety, shelter and support to the Santa Barbara community, but also raised awareness and funds to directly support victims of domestic violence.
The program began with a survivor story from DVS lead client advocate, Mayra Rodriguez. Having been a previous client at a DVS emergency shelter, she is now extremely passionate about helping those who have also been victims of abuse.
The event then honored the law enforcement agencies of Santa Barbara County. Present were Officer Beth Lazarus and Officer Rocio Lopez from the Santa Barbara Police Department, Lt. Terry Flaa from the Santa Maria Police Department, and Chief Patrick Walsh from the Lompoc Police Department. The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office was also honored.
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, one of DVS’s founding members, presented DVS with a congratulatory certificate for 41 years of important work and services provided in the community.
Passion speaker Kenneth Cumbie, a domestic violence survivor and DVS alumni, shared his story next. He addressed the crowd about his own journey of intimate partner violence and the effects on him and his young daughter. He is passionate about giving back to his community, and strives to give a voice to all victims of domestic violence by spreading his message and teaching methods of resilience.
The event not only generated awareness and spread hope, but also raised much-needed funds with a closing paddle raise from SBCC Foundation CEO Geoff Green. The paddle raise was a great and dynamic way to celebrate such an important event and cause.
DVS is vigilant about giving every survivor the chance to rise from the ashes like the Phoenix and to create his or her own story of resilience.