The 6th Annual Working to Heal Breakfast, held on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Danversport Yacht Club for the local business community in support of HAWC (Healing Abuse Working for Change), surpassed its fundraising goal, raking in more than $50,000 for the oldest domestic violence agency on the North Shore. This year’s event was the most successful since its inception, and surpassed HAWC’s fundraising goal by more than $10,000.
“All of us at HAWC are deeply moved by the generosity of the community that we experienced as a result of our Breakfast,” said Linda Puopolo, President of HAWC’s Board of Directors. “An incredible amount of passion, effort, and dedication goes into providing domestic violence services to survivors, and we are so grateful that our business community recognizes the importance of this need.”
This year, HAWC chose to honor Stephen J. Feron, Past HAWC Board President (2011 – 2013) and Managing Partner at Johnson O’Connor Feron & Carucci LLP, in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to the agency.
Historically, the breakfast has invited a survivor speaker to share her story of overcoming abuse with HAWC’s help. Debra Lemieux, the 2016 speaker, courageously shared her journey from facing extreme violence from her ex-husband to where she is today, happily married, and having served as a volunteer for HAWC for more than 20 years. Lemieux volunteers in the local courts, helping people who were once in her situation file restraining orders and prevention orders.
“I volunteer and speak for HAWC as a way to show my gratitude to the courageous and dedicated women who gave me back my life and courage all those years ago, and those who continue to provide HAWC’s life-saving services to this day.” Lemieux said.
The event also featured an update on HAWC by Puopolo—which highlighted that HAWC served more than 2,700 last year, a 23 percent increase over the year prior—and a Fund-a-Need Auction, during which attendees are encouraged to make a contribution to the agency. The auction alone raised more than $15,000—the most it ever has.
HAWC is deeply grateful to those who supported the breakfast, including Lead Sponsor Johnson O’Connor Feron & Carucci, LLP. The funds raised will directly support HAWC’s programs and clients seeking safety.