By: Ashley Waitkus | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: November 2018
Development Specialist Alexandra Seifried (left) and Executive Director Donna Grabow (right).
Last year, 200 women and children took shelter at Safenet Services. Safenet’s crisis line received 3,572 calls, and 447 clients received counseling. The need in the small community is great, but Safenet staff and volunteers work tirelessly to keep victims of domestic violence and sexual assault safe. Safenet Services is a place for healing for the many victims in Rogers & Mayes Counties. Meeting this high demand involves finances to run the shelter, counsel victims, and provide services. As a result, Safenet Services launched a winter gala to raise much-needed funds.
Now in its 14th year, Festival of Trees is unlike any other fundraising dinner. The Christmas-focused event is a brilliant holiday party complete with dinner, live entertainment, raffle, silent auction, and live auction, including the auctioning of 15 Christmas trees.
Due to the growing size of the event, Safenet moved the venue for this year to Will Rogers Downs Event Center to accommodate more guests and more auction items. Catered by the venue, the Panhandle Dinner Buffet will have something for every taste. Tulsa Flute Band will be providing live entertainment throughout the dinner and silent auction.
The silent auction will be a prime place to finish some early Christmas shopping with items such as Rustic Cuffs, Zoo passes, and gift baskets from local businesses including Froman Propane, Frosted, Elizebeth Jean, Genesis Massage, and many others.
Available now, until they sell out, Safenet will be selling Golden Ticket Raffles. They will sell 50 tickets at $100 for your chance to pick one item off the live auction before it even begins. Participants must be present to win. There will also be a jewelry raffle, provided by Plum Gold. The live auction will also include a wine tour, a limo lights tour, and 2 round-trip domestic flights generously provided by Southwest. Auctioneers Brian and Peyton Marlin, with Rick Reimer, will make for a lively and entertaining auction. Wreaths will also be available in the live auction.
Last year, Festival of Trees raised $60,000 to bring healing and hope to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. This year, Development Specialist, Alexandra Seifried, and Executive Director, Donna Grabow, hope the growing event will raise $70,000. Their tireless work doesn’t stop, the need continues to grow in a state with some of the worst domestic violence statistics in the country. “Oklahoma ranks 6th” according to Alexandra. Festival of Trees is a unique opportunity for everyday citizens to step in and bring hope while also enjoying the elegant evening of live music and good food.
Ashley Waitkus is a former mental health counselor and minister who has served in high trauma, high crisis environments for over 12 years. She has a Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy; her passions include helping people heal, bringing others into a relationship with Christ, and attending festivals with her daughter.
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