KAHULUI - There's no place like home - unless home is not a safe place to be.
When home becomes something other than a safe haven, who do you turn to and where do you go? It's a question that is increasingly difficult to answer, as the number of domestic violence and stalking incidents are constantly on the rise across the nation.
In Maui County alone, the Women Helping Women (WHW) emergency hotline fields roughly 1,000 crisis calls and more than 7,000 information calls each year, according to WHW Executive Director Stacey Moniz.
Women Helping Women’s Elegant Tea Fundraiser is set for Sunday, April 28, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
"Those numbers don't include the crisis calls to our other offices," she said. "We help a lot of people."
You can help, too.
Click your heels three times and join the ongoing effort against domestic violence at the WHW Annual Elegant Tea Fundraiser on Sunday, April 28, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. under the emerald lights of the Yokouchi Family Pavilion at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
"This year's event promises to be our most exciting event ever," said Moniz. "I still want to call it a 'tea' since it has been an afternoon event for 15 years, but moving it to an early evening event brings so many opportunities to take it up a notch."
WHW Board President Massy Cashen-Suguitan added, "This event will feature a colorful and exciting repertoire based on the fun, epic movie 'Oz the Great and Powerful' and packed with Oz-inspired entertainment and unbelievable live and silent auction items."
Every aspect of this annual event will be enhanced, said Moniz.
"From the decor and table design competition to the incredible Maui Culinary Academy cake competition and Chef Bev Gannon's sophisticated Emerald City cuisine, this event will surely transport you 'somewhere over the rainbow.' "
Broomsticks, winged monkeys and Lollipop Guilds aside, this is a critical fundraising event for WHW.
"We rely on this event to raise unrestricted funding for all of our programs," said Moniz. "All of the proceeds - as well as any donations to WHW - support our emergency shelter, temporary restraining order and transitions programs, our West Maui and Lanai offices, as well as the ReVive Resale Boutique in Kahului."
Women Helping Women is a unique provider of crisis intervention and support services for direct and indirect victims of domestic violence.
The mission of the organization is to end domestic violence through advocacy, education and prevention, while offering safety, support and empowerment to those impacted by domestic violence.
Proceeds from the 16th WHW Tea Fundraiser will help to keep this mission alive. Moniz said she is eternally grateful to the many volunteers, sponsors and attendees who contribute to the magic of this annual fundraiser.
"I want to thank the community for its incredible support each year," she said. "There really is no place like home - and may every home be safe."
There are three ticketing options available for this event: the Emerald City ticket, which is $150 per person or $1,500 for a reserved table of ten; the Poppy Field ticket, which is $120 per person or $1,200 for a reserved table of ten; and the Munchkin ticket, which is $90 per person and available in the event the fundraiser is sold-out.
To purchase tickets or reserve a table, visit www.mauiarts.org or call 242-SHOW. If you would like to volunteer, donate an auction item, purchase advertising space in the event program or become a sponsor, visit www.whwmaui.net or contact the main office at 242-6600.