Ladyfest raises awareness and funds

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To the Editor:

On Oct. 19, Ladyfest 2019 filled Circuit Ave. with live music, talented street vendors, and local food trucks. The evening celebrated female-fueled musical talents, and brought together community members from all corners of the Island. Aside from being a great event, Ladyfest raised awareness and funds to benefit survivors of domestic violence.

Each year, M.V. Community Services’ Connect to End Violence program provides free and confidential services to more than 300 survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Connect counselors are available 24/7 to provide support and advocacy to those who are feeling unsafe in their relationship. Connect strives to empower and support survivors in their decisions with the affirmed belief that they know what is best for them to feel safe. For some, leaving the relationship is what is best for them, and in those moments, stabilization funds are of the utmost importance. Funds raised through Ladyfest support survivors who are working toward living a life free from violence. Connect’s stabilization funds help survivors maintain their independence from their abusive partner.

The engineers of Ladyfest, the Ritz Café’s Larkin Stallings, Kelly Feirtag, and Rose Guerin, and their remarkable team worked tirelessly with collaborating partners to pull off a successful event. Thank you to the Oak Bluffs selectmen for approving the event, the collaborative efforts of the Oak Bluffs Association, and WMVY’s coverage of the evening. A huge thank-you to all of the volunteers who supported the evening — before, during, and after — and to the donors and sponsors who helped make the event possible.

Jennifer Neary, program director

Connect to End Violence