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Over 270 women came together on May 25 for the 2024 Black Dress Gala presented by Nixon Wenger, held for the first time since 2019. The fundraiser, held at the Coldstream Community Hall, was a celebration of empowering women in the North Okanagan Community.
Thanks to the generous support of local sponsors, businesses who donated auction items and the individuals who attended the event, over $38,000 net was raised for Archway Society’s community programs, supporting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
“This funding will allow us to continue to provide community programs that allow for accessible and free counselling for women, children and families, outreach services for women in rural areas, victim support through the justice system and advocacy services for children and youth who have been abused or neglected.” Says Sherry Demetrick, Co-Executive Director of Archway Society.
The Black Dress Organizing Committee would like to extend a thank you to all the event sponsors, as well as the volunteers who worked extremely hard to make the evening a success. “This event is a big undertaking, but it is truly an amazing night of women coming together to support, encourage, inspire, and learn from each other and most important, look out for one another.” adds Demetrick.

Key messages:
• Archway Society relies on the financial support of the community to carry out our mission, support our clients and create positive change in our community. They allow the Society to develop, implement and sustain the programs, which are all free and open to anyone who needs support.
• Donations and fundraising are a crucial part of how we can ensure long-term sustainability of our Society and allow us to plan for the future, expand our reach and scale for impact in our community.
• If you’re in an abusive relationship, the risk of lethal violence increases during or just after a woman has left an abusive partner, therefore planning for safety is critical. A personalized safety plan is a practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. Our trained staff can help in creating an individual safety plan.
• We want to ensure that no one who is experiencing violence lacks the resources or ability to be safe and to access our support. We can be privately and securely contacted via phone, email, and social media, and encourage anyone who wants information about their options, support or immediate help should reach out to us.