UW-Stout News Story

Hope for the Holidays event Dec. 7 benefits Bridge to Hope

November 27, 2013

A class at University of Wisconsin-Stout, in collaboration with the Waterfront Bar and Grill and Bridge to Hope, is sponsoring the Hope for the Holidays benefit in Menomonie.

The ninth annual event begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Waterfront, 512 Crescent St. Admission is $5 and includes a half-price meal, a free beverage and a door prize.

Proceeds will go to the Bridge to Hope, a domestic violence and sexual assault shelter and agency in Menomonie serving Dunn and Pepin counties.

Susan WolfgramThe benefit is being organized by students in the Abuse in the Family class taught by Associate Professor Susan Wolfgram. "The Bridge to Hope provides vital services to our community. It supports victims and their families at a time when they are most vulnerable," Wolfgram said.

Providing support for facilities such as Bridge to Hope is vital, Wolfgram said, because in most states the shelters' public and private funding, resources and staffing have declined despite an increase in demand for services.

"Stable funding is now more essential than ever to ensure that programs across the country can keep the lights on, answer crisis calls and provide essential services for victims fleeing violence," Wolfgram said.

Hope for the Holidays will include increasing awareness about domestic violence, Bingo at 7:30 p.m., a 50-50 raffle, a silent auction and live music at 10 p.m. by the Evergreen Grass Band.

From left, Sarah Bjork, Jazmin LaPlante, John Sholund, Devi Stoffregen and Ashley Oliver.This fall, with October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, more than 30 of Wolfgram's students presented education programs at schools in Menomonie, New Richmond and River Falls along with the Dunn County Jail and the Eau Claire Transitions Center for Ex-offender Re-entry.

The presentations stressed that domestic violence can be prevented and that everyone needs to break the silence and talk about the issue.

The outreach efforts coincide with No More, a national awareness campaign supported by leading domestic violence and sexual assault organizations from around the country.

UW-Stout students organizing Hope for the Holidays are John Sholund, of Merrill, project manager; Sarah Bjork, of Elmwood; Jazmin LaPlante, of Green Bay; Ashley Oliver, of Plover; and Devi Stoffregen, of Coon Valley.

For more information on the human development and family studies program, click here.

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