Lecture Series Proceeds Benefit Shelter For Battered Women

  • 7/21/2004
  • VLSP
  • Source: New York > Rochester / Finger Lakes

If you attended one or more of the HerStory programs presented by the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys last spring, your small admission fee contributed to the $1,137 donation GRAWA recently handed over to Alternatives for Battered Women. The series of three lectures featured prominent women from the community sharing their contemporary stories of success. The admission fee was nominal ($25 for all three lectures) and the speakers donated their time.

"What a fabulous donation," stated ABW Executive Director Catherine Mazzotta, looking at the check for more than $1,000. "The women's bar has been a long time supporter of our organization, and this check is a welcome addition to our always-tight resources."

The lecture series was the brainchild of Monroe County Family Court Judge Marilyn O'Connor. One of the founders of GRAWA, Judge O'Connor had for many years envisioned such opportunities for women to tell their stories to inspire other women (and men) in the community. At last, the first series of lectures was organized and hosted by women attorneys in March and April 2004.

"We were pleased with the turn out," noted Elizabeth Wolford, immediate-past president of GRAWA. "We also learned from this year's event what we might do better to promote the program in the future."

Speakers this year included J. Christine Wilson (March 8), Wyoma Best (March 28) and Naomi Silver (April 19).

Wilson, a community activist and philanthropist, is the co-founder of several organizations focused on social change, including the Women's Foundation of Genesee Valley. Best, a former television news reporter is vice president of Communications/Marketing & Affiliate Relations for the Rochester Business Alliance. Silver is chairman of Rochester Community Baseball, Inc. and a major shareholder in the company that owns the Rochester Red Wings.

Nadja Steve, former GRAWA Program Committee Co-Chair, was just one of several GRAWA members who helped put the program together. In addition to GRAWA, the lecture series had the support of the National Association of Women Business Owners and the Women's Foundation of Genesee Valley.

Judge O'Connor is already working with current GRAWA President Audrey Peartree and others to coordinate a "second annual" HerStory series.

"We don't yet know who the speakers will be, but we know there is a pool of extraordinary talent in Rochester to draw from," said Peartree.

Alternatives for Battered Women is a non-profit organization with a mission to enhance the quality of life and empower individuals affected by or at risk of domestic violence. It is a founding member of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Rochester/Monroe County Domestic Violence Consortium, and a member of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.