More than 620 BARCC supporters, volunteers, and staff gathered this past Friday for our annual Champions for Change Gala & Auction. In addition to a rousing live auction, the evening featured a moving speaking program to celebrate young survivors and the power we all have to end sexual violence. The event was BARCC’s most successful to date, setting records and exceeding our expectations by wide margins!
Attorney General Maura Healey welcomed everyone to the event: “Sexual violence affects people of every gender, every race, and every age, and BARCC has committed to serve all survivors,” Healey said, “It is challenging and emotional work, but BARCC confronts it bravely and with compassion, expertise, and commitment to healing.”
The highlight of the evening came when survivor speaker Shaira Medina (pictured above) took the stage to a standing ovation. Shaira shared her story and her experience at BARCC: “The Youth Leadership Corps really helped me develop a passion for activism. . . . Three years ago, I felt like life was no longer worth living. Today, I love my life."
Cathleen Bonner and Rob Almoney were honored as Champions for Change. Cathleen has volunteered for BARCC since 1998 as a rape crisis counselor and public educator. Rob, Cathleen’s husband, has volunteered as a fundraiser since 2007 and is now on BARCC’s staff as a development officer. "We want to put BARCC out of business,” they said as they accepted the award. “It won't happen overnight. But it won't happen at all without you." BARCC also honored volunteers of the year Schuyler Daum, who is a medical advocate; Jessie Lowell, who volunteers for the Community Awareness and Prevention Services program; and Jessica Nissenbaum, who is a hotline volunteer.
“Our annual Champions for Change Gala is a way for friends of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center to come together and celebrate the achievements of survivors as well as the individuals who sustain our work,” said BARCC Executive Director Gina Scaramella. “We are incredibly grateful for the generous support of our work given by our sponsors, supporters, and gala attendees.”
Activist sponsors of the Champions for Change Gala & Auction were 90+ Cellars, Accunet, Bentley University, Citizens Bank, Goodwin, Insource Services, Inc., Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Northeastern University, Ropes and Gray, and Uber. Community sponsors were Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston IT Services (BITS), Curry College, Eastern Bank, Eaton Vance, Emerson College, ExecuSpace Construction Corporation, Foley Hoag LLP, Funding Change Consulting, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mount Ida College, Partners HealthCare, Sherin & Lodgen LLP, and Wentworth Institute of Technology.
Were you at the Gala? Let us know how it was!