March 28, 2023 – The fight against sexual assault in Savannah and Chatham County continues, but it’s going to need some funding. Mary’s Place of the Coastal Empire will host its annual Gala to help raise money for the organization’s continued efforts to help sexual assault victims.
The “Find Your Voice” Gala and Lip Sync Competition is an idea spawned out of the team at Mary’s Place’s desire to do something different for their annual fundraising event this year. In previous years, they’ve centered their gala fundraisers behind other themes like masquerade balls or a St. Patrick Day-themed one. This year’s lip sync competition is taking a cue from the 1983 film classic, “Risky Business.”
“There was a scene where Tom Cruise was singing in his underwear and just singing across the room,” said Doris L. Williams, the executive director of the Mary Place Sexual Assault Center. “And so my thought was, this would be fitting if we had a lip syncing competition because we’re always encouraging our children to find their voice to say what they need to say as it relates to whenever someone touching them inappropriately or when someone isn’t respecting their boundaries, finding their voice. And we’re always encouraging our survivors of sexual violence to find their voice and their journey towards healing.”
Ticket prices are $125 per person, but these expenses do not come without reason. Mary’s Place has suffered from budget cuts and a smaller staff for the past couple of years; raising as much money as possible is critical to maintaining these resources. “That has been our biggest challenge,” said Williams. “Maintaining the amount of people we need to serve the community that we take care of. And we couldn’t do that without our volunteers.”