Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


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Wellspring to Host ‘Changemakers’ as a celebration of the people and programs who help create a community free of relationship and sexual abuse

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 8, 2017

Submitted by Maggie Fronk, Executive Director

Wellspring (DVRC)

(518) 583-0280

 

Wellspring to Host ‘Changemakers’ Fundraiser as a celebration of the

people and programs who help create a community free of relationship and sexual abuse

 

On Thursday, March 30, Wellspring is hosting ‘Changemakers—Champions for Change’ as a celebration of the people and programs who help create a community free of relationship and sexual abuse.  The event, made possible in part by Gold Sponsors The Adirondack Trust Company and MVP Healthcare, is being held at Prime at Saratoga National, and will begin at 6:30 PM.

 

The evening will feature hearty hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and silent auction.  The event will introduce guests to a sampling of Wellspring’s powerful programs offered to our community that educate about healthy relationships and consent, prevent relationship and sexual abuse, and foster social change.  The evening will also highlight the services Wellspring provides to more than 1,000 victims of domestic violence and sexual assault each year, to help keep them safe, understand their experiences and access important resources.  Domestic Violence is the #1 cause of family homelessness in Saratoga County.

 

Tickets for the evening are $75 a person, $150 a couple, and are available online at www.wellspringcares.org/change, or by calling Wellspring at 518-583-0280.

 

Wellspring Executive Director Maggie Fronk, said, “Wellspring wants to change the way people, and society think about domestic violence and sexual assault.  Every one of us has the potential to be a Changemaker; many of our programs work to help people be more aware about these issues, and to give them the skills to create the change needed to end relationship and sexual abuse.”

 

She went on to add, “These relationship and sexual abuse affect our entire community.  We are honored to have the chance to recognize members of our community who have already demonstrated their commitment to this change.  I’d also like to acknowledge several of our generous sponsors including Stewart’s Shops, Saratoga National Bank & Trust, Polyset, and The Office of Sherry Finkel Murphy, Northwest Mutual, as well as Mazzone Hospitality for their support of the event.”

 

About Wellspring

At Wellspring, our mission is to support survivors and engage our community to end relationship and sexual abuse.  Each year, our crisis intervention and survivor services support more than 1,000 clients—providing safe housing to adults and children either fleeing or homeless because of domestic violence, as well as comprehensive support in the form of counseling, legal advocacy, and case management.    While helping victims in need is a major focus of the Agency’s mission, we know that by increasing awareness we can end intimate partner violence.  Wellspring staff provides prevention and education programs to school-aged youth, as well as training and education programs for parents, faith based congregations, and professional organizations.

Parents: It affects 1 in 3 Teens. Would you recognize it?

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Did you know, 1 in 3 teens experience some form of dating violence? They're often reluctant to tell their parents or  teachers. Would you recognize the signs?

Soroptimist International, an organization devoted to helping girls locally and across the world,  reports that "82% of parents felt confident they'd be able to tell if their teen was in an abusive relationship, but less than HALF of these parents could correctly identify the signs of teen dating abuse." They've created a an infographic with information about identifying dating violence, talking to your teen (or his/her friends) about it, and supporting a teen who has experience dating violence. You can also sign up here for other resources such as a video for parents and tips to take action to help teens.

Need some resources to  share with the teens you know? Love is respect has 2 quick quizzes :

If you are a teen who is experiencing dating violence ... or if you are a parent or friend of someone and you're concerned they may be-- call Wellspring at 518-583-0280. All services are free and confidential.




Parents: It affects 1 in 3 Teens. Would you recognize it?

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Did you know, 1 in 3 teens experience some form of dating violence? They're often reluctant to tell their parents or  teachers. Would you recognize the signs?

Soroptimist International, an organization devoted to helping girls locally and across the world,  reports that "82% of parents felt confident they'd be able to tell if their teen was in an abusive relationship, but less than HALF of these parents could correctly identify the signs of teen dating abuse." They've created a an infographic with information about identifying dating violence, talking to your teen (or his/her friends) about it, and supporting a teen who has experience dating violence. You can also sign up here for other resources such as a video for parents and tips to take action to help teens.

Need some resources to  share with the teens you know? Love is respect has 2 quick quizzes :

If you are a teen who is experiencing dating violence ... or if you are a parent or friend of someone and you're concerned they may be-- call Wellspring at 518-583-0280. All services are free and confidential.




Cantina’s donating 33% to help Wellspring get to zero

Dining out fundraiser for Wellspring

Join us at Cantina at 430 Broadway in  Saratoga Springs on February 8 anytime from 11:30-9  for lunch or dinner. Cantina is generously donating 33% of proceeds in support of Wellspring's work to end relationship and sexual abuse in our community.

Feeling more like a night in with the family? That's OK. Treat yourself to take out from Cantina and a relaxed family dinner at home.

If you're planning on dining in, reservations are recommended, so you don't have to wait.

Your support brings Wellspring closer to our vision of a community without abuse.

Cantina’s donating 33% to help Wellspring get to zero

Dining out fundraiser for Wellspring

Join us at Cantina at 430 Broadway in  Saratoga Springs on February 8 anytime from 11:30-9  for lunch or dinner. Cantina is generously donating 33% of proceeds in support of Wellspring's work to end relationship and sexual abuse in our community.

Feeling more like a night in with the family? That's OK. Treat yourself to take out from Cantina and a relaxed family dinner at home.

If you're planning on dining in, reservations are recommended, so you don't have to wait.

Your support brings Wellspring closer to our vision of a community without abuse.

Move Aside Mr. Groundhog

So February has some important dates to remember:
Valentines Day (14th)
Bartenders' Ball  (11th- show up to support this year's recipient CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services)
Presidents' Day (20th ...and start of a school break for many)...
and of course
Groundhog Day (2nd... we haven't really had winter yet, but I'd be OK with an early spring).


So tomorrow we'll be talking about whether the groundhog predicts an early spring or more winter, but here's something to think about all month long. It's Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Talk to your kids about signs of abuse in a relationship... and what constitutes a health relationship. At Wellspring, we want everyone to have healthy relationships. Sometimes it's confusing to discern when everyday behaviors cross the line into controlling. This month we'll be sharing some tools to increase awareness, start the conversation, and give you some resources if needed.  Let's start with discussing boundaries and consent.

Not every healthy relationship looks the same.  However, every healthy relationship does need safe communication, trust, boundaries, and mutual respect. Being on the same page is important, you want  to make sure that both you and your partner want and expect the same things.  Everyone should feel comfortable setting boundaries as they see fit, and these boundaries may change or adjust as the relationship evolves. Having open communication regarding your boundaries in a relationship creates respect and ensures that  each person’s needs are  being met. Check out Wellspring's video about consent to start the conversation.

Move Aside Mr. Groundhog

So February has some important dates to remember:
Valentines Day (14th)
Bartenders' Ball  (11th- show up to support this year's recipient CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services)
Presidents' Day (20th ...and start of a school break for many)...
and of course
Groundhog Day (2nd... we haven't really had winter yet, but I'd be OK with an early spring).


So tomorrow we'll be talking about whether the groundhog predicts an early spring or more winter, but here's something to think about all month long. It's Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Talk to your kids about signs of abuse in a relationship... and what constitutes a health relationship. At Wellspring, we want everyone to have healthy relationships. Sometimes it's confusing to discern when everyday behaviors cross the line into controlling. This month we'll be sharing some tools to increase awareness, start the conversation, and give you some resources if needed.  Let's start with discussing boundaries and consent.

Not every healthy relationship looks the same.  However, every healthy relationship does need safe communication, trust, boundaries, and mutual respect. Being on the same page is important, you want  to make sure that both you and your partner want and expect the same things.  Everyone should feel comfortable setting boundaries as they see fit, and these boundaries may change or adjust as the relationship evolves. Having open communication regarding your boundaries in a relationship creates respect and ensures that  each person’s needs are  being met. Check out Wellspring's video about consent to start the conversation.

Wellspring Announces Addition of Four New Board Members

Wellspring Announces Addition of Four New Board Members

Wellspring has announced the addition of four members to its board of directors, Amy Knussman, John Lefner, Denis Palumbo, and Dawn Sauer.


Mrs. Knussman is an attorney and Partner at Donnellan & Knussman, PLLC, in Ballston Spa.  A practicing attorney since 2003, she has represented thousands of children, parents, and relatives in family court and matrimonial matters.  She is a member of the Saratoga County Bar Association, Adirondack Women’s Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, and Collaborative Divorce Association of the Capital District.  Attorney Knussman is the 2012 Recipient of the Legal Project’s Brigid Nolan Memorial Award, which is presented for dedication, and pro-bono service of victims of domestic violence offered through Legal Project.

Currently, Mrs. Knussman is the Events Chair for the Chango Elementary School PTA and is a member of the school’s Safety Team. Previously she served on the Board of Directors of the Beagle School.  Mrs. Knussman has lived in Saratoga County for over eighteen years. She resides in Ballston Lake with her husband, two sons, and their dogs.

Mr. Lefner is the Executive Director for the Capital District YMCA.  He is a seasoned non-profit executive, has provided leadership to the Saratoga Independent School, Double H Ranch, and YMCA associations in Rhode Island and Florida.  He is a member of the Double H Ranch 25th Anniversary Committee and the Saratoga Independent School 7th & 8th Grade Expansion Committee.  Mr. Lefner resides in Saratoga Springs with his wife Dr. Jennifer Lefner and two daughters Sasha and Olivia.

Denise Palumbo is one of the owners of Plum and Crimson Fine Interior Design in Saratoga Springs.  Denise is a member of the Saratoga Builders Association and has volunteered for many years on their Showcase of Homes Committee.  She resides in Saratoga Springs, and is the mother of three grown children.

Mrs. Sauer is an Account Executive at Adirondack Trust Insurance.  She has been a member of the Saratoga Hospital Volunteer Guild, acted as a parent volunteer at Saint Clement’s Regional Catholic School, and has volunteered locally for a variety of nonprofit organizations since moving to the Capital Region in 2007.  Dawn is a Leadership Saratoga alumna and serves on the Saratoga Chamber Players Board of Directors.
Wellspring executive director Maggie Fronk said, “Wellspring’s set a BIG GOAL—Ending relationship and sexual abuse in our community.  Our board, staff, and volunteers are committed, every single day to achieving that goal.  We’re thrilled to welcome these four new board members who share the same vision, and have the passion and skills we need to accomplish our goal.”

 

About Wellspring: The mission of Wellspring is to support survivors and engage our community to end relationship and sexual abuse.  Each year, their crisis intervention and survivor services support more than 1,000 clients—keeping them safe, and providing comprehensive support in the form of counseling, legal advocacy, and case management.  While helping victims in need is a major focus of the Agency’s mission, we know that by increasing awareness we can end intimate partner violence.  Wellspring staff provides prevention and education programs to school-aged youth, as well as training and education programs for parents, faith based congregations, and professional organizations.

 

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Need hope? Look around.


Commitment to social justice knows no age limits. On Monday, I attended a leadership training coordinated by Youth2. There I saw teens discussing concerns for the environment, women’s rights,poverty, homelessness and hunger, and global issues of injustice. They didn’t only talk about these concerns, but brainstormed ways they could take an active role in addressing these problems… learning how to be “solutionaries”.
I don’t remember, when I was 16, spending a school holiday trying to strategize how I  could make a difference in a global problem. Even walking out of the training, looking at the tee shirt on the Y2 member ahead of me in line, their passion inspired me.
This morning I opened the paper and read that Mary Jane Smith, one of the founders of  Unity House, had passed  away. I started my career in human services more than three decades ago (gasp- wow I don't often do that math!) at Unity House's sister agency, Mohawk Opportunities. While we met briefly many decades ago, Mary Jane didn't know me... but over the years I've watched Unity House grow and seen firsthand the positive impact their programs have had on so many lives.
As we look at the human service organizations locally, we often forget their humble beginnings 3, 4,or 5 decades ago. Many of them, Wellspring included, began because a few concerned citizens gathered and started talking about a  local issue and just like those teens at the  Youthtraining began brainstorming a plan they could implement to address a local need. It didn't escape my notice that the article about Mary Jane had a picture of her taken last year, still volunteering serving lunch to those in need at the age of 87.
Like so many of our inspiring local leaders whom we've recently lost, e.g., Denny Brunelle, former executive director of the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council (and leader on many of our local initiatives to help those in need), or Anne Palamountain, philanthropist and founding member of many local nonprofit initiatives, including Wellspring's rape crisis services, they began working to help others early in adulthood and continued to do so throughout their lives, never tiring in their commitment to those in need and to our community. I'm humbled by their compassion, generosity and leadership and grateful for their impact.  I'm also inspired as I look at a new generation of youth just as committed to making this world a better  place.
Reading the news every day, it's easy to feel hopeless. The headlines make me wonder if our challenges are overwhelming and our leaders aren't able to address the needs of the people... but when I look up from my computer screen at what people are doing, I'm inspired and hopeful. Together we can make a difference. 
 

 


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