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Renewal House throwing ball to raise money for domestic violence victims

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CANTON — Cinderellas and Prince Charmings will be dressed in purple for the second annual Glass Slipper Ball on Saturday at the Club, 25 Court St.

St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House, 3 Chapel St., is throwing a “purple tie” ball to raise money for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse from 8 p.m. to midnight. Last year the event was held later in the year, but Executive Director Ilene J. Burke said organizers wanted to have the ball the same weekend as Canton Winterfest.

“Being the first event last year, we didn’t make as much money as we thought we would,” she said. “It was so new that perhaps if we give it another try it will do better.”

Last year the formal night of dancing brought in $300 after expenses. Tickets were $75, but are down to $50 this year.

Ms. Burke said besides dancing to music provided by disc jockey Todd Truax, the night will include finger foods and a cash bar, a silent auction and a photo booth in a separate room with different props.

“It’s just something different for this area,” she said. “I’m just hoping that it will grow each year.”

Ms. Burke said the event will not only help raise funds to aid victims, but spread awareness about domestic violence and sexual abuse in the area.

“Fundraising is really important for us because in order to receive the grants we get, we have a percentage that we have to match through fundraising,” she said.

Ms. Burke said that the money goes toward paying for gas or food for victims or running the agency’s nine-bed safe-dwelling house.

“It can also assist with having people available 24 hours a day in case we’re needed or get any calls,” she said.

Ms. Burke said the highest number of victims the agency dealt with in a year was 943 in 2011.

“I don’t have 2013’s numbers done yet, but it will probably be up there again in the 900s,” she said.

Ms. Burke said the numbers could be higher in St. Lawrence County than in other counties in the state because of its rural nature that could isolate victims.

“But I don’t like to compare to other areas, because domestic violence is everywhere,” she said. “Plus, we don’t know how many incidents go unreported.”

Ms. Burke said Sposa Bella, 81 Main St., will donate to Renewal House 5 percent from sales of all jewelry, shoes, dresses and other accessories purchased for the ball.

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