Batavia Woman's Club Donates More Than $29k to Mutual Ground

As featured in the Kane County Chronicle

The Batavia Woman’s Club presented Mutual Ground, a domestic violence women’s shelter in Aurora, with donation of more than $29,000 Jan. 7, the result of the club’s fundraising fashion show in October, according to a news release.

More than 300 attended the club’s 10th annual Fall into Fashion luncheon and charity event, held at the Q Center in St. Charles.

Event chairwoman Cynthia Kieckhefer said the club embraced and placed a special focus on Mutual Ground.

“As our club organized this event, talked to people in our community, solicited auction items, we were shocked at the incidence of domestic violence around nearly every turn we took,” Kieckhefer stated in the release.

“Domestic abuse is such a hidden problem, and the Batavia Woman’s Club together with Mutual Ground, is bound and determined to keep our community talking about this,” Kieckhefer stated in the release. “This women’s and children’s emergency shelter and counseling organization has been filling its beds all year.”

Mutual Ground Executive Director Michelle Meyer stated in the release that the organization was fortunate to have such support.

“When a local woman called us the other night and needed our help, I thought of the ladies of the Batavia Woman’s Club,” Meyer stated in the release.

Fashions for the charity luncheon were provided by Batavia’s Special Occasions on the Avenue and Six + Cypress, Geneva’s Flair on 3rd, and St. Charles’ Directions in Clothing.

“Our 43 models were ladies and children from all over the Fox Valley,” Kieckhefer stated in the release. “Many were local business women showing their support by also buying tickets and donating time and products. … Fox Valley businesswomen really showed up for Mutual Ground.”

The event raised money through raffle basket prizes and silent auction items, like Cubs and Hamilton tickets, and relied on volunteer models, such as Karen Hollis of K. Hollis Jewelers of Batavia, who donated a $1,400 diamond necklace and modeled. Wendy Reed of Gaetano’s Batavia modeled and donated a tasting event, the release stated.

Missi Hartmann, owner of Batavia’s Tea Tree, modeled with her two daughters. Kim Keating, the owner of Batavia’s Alarm Detection Systems, also modeled along with her daughter Kelly.

Anna Harmon, the manager of Shodeen’s Community Charity was also generous donator, Kieckhefer stated in the release.

“We hope to grow this event with every new year,” Kieckhefer said. “This year, our event is on Nov. 2. Our focused charity beneficiaries will be Mutual Ground again, along with Rise From The Ashes, a nonprofit that helps women get legal assistance to sever ties to abusive partners.”

Mutual Ground also serves adult and child survivors of domestic and sexual violence. In any given year, Mutual Ground provides services to about 1,500 survivors, about 400 of which are children, the release stated.