The Quaboag Valley chapter of Zonta International plans a fundraising auction to benefit agencies which fight domestic violence.
LUDLOW – The Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley will raise funds for projects aimed at stopping violence against women and children through its Silent “No more!” auction on May 5 at the Ludlow Country Club.
The Zonta Club works to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. It is one of 1,200 clubs around the globe, which are part of Zonta International.
“The auction began in 2009, and it’s part of our mission to work through international and local events, raising awareness and advocating and providing service and funds,” said Mary Knight, past president and the communications chair for the Quaboag Valley club. “We decided we needed to do something locally.”
Knight said the fundraiser helps to raise awareness about issues affecting women and children that are often not spoken about, such as domestic violence, mental illness, bullying, depression, and suicide.
“We want to raise funds for agencies that work with victims, directing it to where it’s needed most,” she said. “A lot of times, they have to abide by their funders in terms of where the funding is used. We want to raise funds for any unmet needs.”
The event will include about 60 to 100 items up for bid, all donated by Zonta Club members, Zonta supporters and local businesses. They are valued at $25 up to $500. They include themed baskets, services, getaways, and tickets to box seats at the Saratoga horse races.
“The admission cost of $30 pays for the entire meal and all other expenses, so the auction profits go directly to the agencies,” Knight said.
The event includes an extensive buffet, with pastas, vegetables, a carving station and desserts. There will be a cash bar.
“The venue is just amazing,” Knight said. “The Ludlow Country Club is not only a beautiful setting, but it’s easy to get to, right off the Mass Pike.”
About one-third of the funds raised through the Zonta Club’s fundraisers go to Zonta International and projects it picks to raise the status of women and children around the world.
This year, one-third of the funds will also go to “Soldier On Women Veterans,” an organization the local club has worked with for a few years. Club members work with veterans who are homeless or have been through trauma and are in need of additional support.
“We do things with them every month, as well as raise money to fund projects to help them succeed in moving on to a better life,” Knight said. “We have donated to them for the past two or three years.”
The final third of money raised will go to the Carson Center for Human Services’ domestic violence program.
“We know that domestic violence, especially in the Quaboag Valley, is quite high, and the resources for women and children are not easy to get to,” Knight said. “People are scattered around a very large area in the Quaboag Valley. The Carson Center for Human Services is doing a great job working with the Ware Police Department and domestic violence task forces, but the funding (can be) very restrictive. They can only work in certain areas of the Quaboag Valley, and when they get calls from other areas, sometimes they can’t help those people.”
Representatives from each of the organizations will be on hand with information and materials about what they do.
Past recipients of funds include Bridges Inc., Tri-County Domestic Violence Task Force, Womanshelter Companeras and WestMass ElderCare.
Knight said it should be a fun event.
“It’s just before Mother’s Day, and we have some great things people can bid on for mothers, or graduation gifts, or men,” she said. “There’s something for everybody. It will be a really interesting evening.”
The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on May 5, at the Ludlow Country Club. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by contacting Ann Cormier at 413-283-4646 or email@example.com. To learn more about Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley, visit ZontaQV.org.