Beating drums to end domestic violence

Beating+drums+to+end++domestic+violence

Jackie Jahfetson

A benefit for the Women’s Center pools in funds with silent auction and live music

Doors slam. Someone said something maybe they didn’t mean. Chaos rises like lava ready to shoot out from the dark cabinets below. But no matter the circumstance, a bruise on a tired, battered arm will never be acceptable as an act of love. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. But organizations like Marquette Women’s Center work with thousands of individuals who are escaping domestic/sexual/dating violence, or stalking. This past weekend’s benefit for the center helped raise money in support of survival and to increase awareness on this issue.

Over 200 people filled the upper room Sunday night at the Ore Dock Brewing Co. People gathered around the tables of miscellaneous items, placing their bids while local bands jammed in the background. Bags of Crappie Coffee from The Crib, homemade quilts, earrings from City by the Lake Jewelry and one free month of Spanish classes were among the sweepstakes donated by local businesses and artists. The buzz from the speakers faded. Crowd members with anticipating eyes waited to hear their name called as a winner from the silent auction. The biggest announcement, though, was the final tally of funds raised: $3,015. Event organizer and drummer of the band Charmer Nick Erickson couldn’t have been more proud.

“I was just kind of happy people came and we raised a significant amount of money,” Erickson said.

Along with Charmer, original music from The Muldoons, Beatrix, We Should Be Laughing and Blanco Suave kept the cause energetic throughout the night. Lead singer and guitarist David Daignault of Charmer immediately got on board with Erickson when he mentioned that the band should organize a fundraiser, he said.

“It’s pretty gratifying. It’s good for everyone, we don’t really need to make money on home shows so it doesn’t cost us any money to come here,” Daignault said.

Under a record label at No Sleep Records in Huntington Beach, California, Charmer stays occupied throughout the year, touring all over the nation, Daignault said. But Marquette is their home base and it’s a good thing to give back to the community, especially to a cause like this, he added.

“[The Women’s Center] is a great organization, their role and what they do is very vital and important. I feel like most people that are involved also feel the same way,” Daignault said. “Anyone involved in a domestic [violence] or bad situations at home need a place to go. And if there wasn’t a place to go, you don’t know what would happen.”

The center is a nonprofit community-based organization that receives funding from state, federal and local grants, United Way; individual and community donations and special project fundraising, according to their website. They’ve been serving Marquette and Alger counties since 1973, existing as one of Michigan’s longest standing domestic/sexual agencies. For Marquette resident Sydney Klavon, the Ore Dock has a “chill atmosphere” and hosting an event like this here brings both people and music together to raise money for a greater cause. It’s like “killing two birds with one stone,” Klavon said.

As a licensed practical nurse (LPN), Klavon works with many people through the UP Health Systems and they’ve referred several patients to the Women’s Center, she said. Witnessing the good the organization does for people in tough situations, from those escaping domestic abuse to single moms, Klavon said it’s great that there is a fundraiser for it.

“People don’t realize that a lot of what goes on up here, it’s kind of something that’s shut behind a door. Just being in the field, I see a lot of it. It’s swept under the rug,” she said. “[But] I think it’s important for there to be resources for everyone out there.”

Marquette community member Georgie Maynard came out Sunday night to not only catch up with friends and listen to original music, but to also support an organization that is important to the area, she said. The center has been around for 46 years, and it’s a good service that has helped so many people, Maynard said. The people working at the center know what they’re doing, Maynard noted, adding, they’re very “knowledgeable” on how to handle domestic violence situations.

“It’s a good support for women. Things happen that harm women and families primarily, [but] it can also be men. And it’s good to have that support because a lot of times they don’t know where to go,” Maynard said.