“Denim and Diamonds” was the theme of the night at the Laurel Houses annual gala, which took place last Saturday, April 12, and was hosted by Andy and Tammy Reid, the Philadelphia Eagles head coach and his wife.
The gala is held every year as a fundraiser to help women and children affected by domestic violence. The occasion featured a silent auction, a live auction, entertainment such as caricatures, psychics and live music. The atmosphere was casual and friendly as people bid on items of all sorts, including teddy bears ranging from $250 to $500, which was used as a donation to the Laurel House shelter.
Cabrini College has been working with the Laurel House because of its community partnership with the urban community of Norristown. Attending the event was Barbara Jordan, who is a major supporter of the Laurel House. Jordan is also receiving an honorary doctorate at Cabrini’s commencement ceremony this year for her work with Cabrini College and domestic violence.
“We have been working closely with the Laurel House and the Jordans, who have been impressed with how seriously we are taking the issue and the efforts to educate about domestic violence,” David Chiles, director of the Wolfington Center and a guest of the Jordans at the Gala, said.
“I never met more engaged people than the Jordans. They are genuine, sincere and just beautiful people,” Chiles said.
Also attending the event as guest of the Jordans’ were Cabrini faculty and staff, Jeanne Armbruster, Norristown coordinator of Cabrini, and Colleen Lelli, education professor.
Lellie has taken special interest in domestic violence as she has been working to incorporate a course that education majors will take in order to be trained in witnessing the signs of domestic violence, as first responders in the classroom. She has done so by collecting literature about domestic violence that could be used in the classroom.
“Domestic violence is an issue that needs more attention. It is a prevalent issue that affects all levels of society. The Laurel House does a fantastic job of bringing awareness and shining the light on this horrendous problem that exists,” Lelli said.
The fact that domestic violence can affect anyone is the reason behind the Denim and Diamonds theme of the night that seemed to be a hit.
Lauren Mindermann, coordinator of volunteer services at Cabrini, worked as a volunteer at the gala making sure the auction booths were running smoothly.
“I think the gala was a huge success. It ran well from start to finish with the careful attention to detail and planning by the Laurel House staff,”
Lelli agreed the night seemed to run smoothly.
“Kudos to those at the Laurel House and those on the planning committee.”