Lessons learned at sold out Chicks for Charity

The second annual Chicks for Charity Champagne Breakfast brought a serious message with good-natured fun June 30.

The second annual Chicks for Charity Champagne Breakfast brought a serious message with good-natured fun June 30.

“I would like to say that once again the women involved with the Chicks for Charity have been amazing to work with,” said president Jane Wierzba.

Proceeds from the sold out event, hosting 256 guests, will support the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter. Its mission is to provide safe refuge for women and children, assisting people to achieve their full potential free from family violence.

The event hosted several speakers from the shelter and others who worked with family violence situations. “Domestic violence feeds on silence. And I’m here to break that silence,” said Kelly Cummings, a family violence rural support worker.

Child support manager Heather Pitt shared her own story of family violence.

She grew up in a home with domestic violence. She was engaged twice by the age of 16 and married to an abusive man by age 17.

“I stayed because I was too afraid and there was no place for me to go,” Pitt said.

She finally gathered the courage to leave him after the birth of their child; her husband got drunk and killed a man.

Pitt travelled from Ontario to Alberta, where she knew no one. Eventually she remarried, to another abusive man, and stayed with him for 10 years.

Pitt talked about the cycle of violence, and with resources such the Central Alberta Women’s Shelter she was finally able to break that cycle.

Although the cause and matter of the charity breakfast is serious, master of ceremonies Greg Shannon from KG Country ensured the festivities weren’t serious all the time.

Shannon said he and the ladies attending the breakfast were there to put the fun back in fundraiser. To keep the humour coming, Shannon’s alter ego, Princess Priscilla read a poem only a group of women drinking champagne would appreciate.

The event also featured a scavenger hunt, door prizes, raffle prizes and a silent auction with items including a willow chaise and a guitar signed by Gord Bamford.