Fundraiser benefits Domestic Violence Services

Marta Harvill, executive director for Domestic Violence Services, sets out some of the hand-made soup bowls that will be used during Saturday's Soup Bowl Supper and Auction.<br><I>Staff photo by Tammy Malgesini

Living in rural Indiana in the 1980s, Kate Bottorff said resources for victims of domestic violence weren't readily available.

"Unlike a lot of women, I had a job and was fairly self-sufficient," Bottorff said about her ability to survive domestic violence.

Now three decades later, the Pendleton resident remains active in helping others who may be exposed to similar issues.

"I basically know the dynamics and the underlying feelings involved when someone is experiencing a domestic violence situation," she said.

Bottorff has served on the board of directors for Domestic Violence Services for most of the last decade. She currently serves as vice president and is active in fundraising activities, including the upcoming Soup Bowl Supper and Auction.

The event, which is scheduled for Saturday from 6-8 p.m., features bluegrass music, homemade soups and salads and an auction, including two round-trip tickets from Pendleton to destinations Seaport Airlines serves, a leather sofa from Wilcox Furniture and golf clubs.

Executive Director Marta Harvill said having the "big ticket" items, as well as donations from local restaurants and artists, will go far in benefiting the agency.

Board members, community volunteers and local artists crafted 300 bowls for the event. When guests arrive they will choose a uniquely crafted bowl to eat their soup from and will be able to take it home afterwards. Cost is $30 per person, $12.50 of which is tax-deductible.

Last year's event raised $14,000.

"That carried us quite a ways through the year," Harvill said.

She said the money raised meets a variety of needs of adults and children served by the agency - particularly in areas that can't always be met through grant funding.

"It's hard to write grants for transportation, medication or doctor appointments," Harvill said. "That's why the Soup Bowl Super is so important."

Additionally, Harvill said, when a person is ready to move out of the shelter, money and community donations often provide basic household or personal needs, such as dishes, furniture, clothing or even a curling iron.

"A lot of our grants are restricted to positions or shelters costs," Bottorff said. "The nice thing about money raised from the board is we can use that in a variety of ways."

Harvill said Bottorff and the rest of the 10 board member are invaluable in their commitment to the organization and fundraising efforts.

"We have some really good board members," Harvill said.

Some of the board members, Harvill said, are motivated to help others because they have an emotional connection to the agency and the services it provides.

"We do a lot of work writing grants and scraping together what we can from grants and public money," Bottorff said, "but that doesn't cover everything so the board is committed to raising funds."

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