Jackson Free Press Chick Ball to Honor Domestic Violence Unit

Media contacts:
Tara Baker Blumenthal, 601-720-2337
Donna Ladd, 601-966-0834
Ronni Mott, 601.362.6121 ext. 0

3RD ANNUAL JFP CHICK BALL TO Honor Attorney General Jim Hood’s Domestic Violence Unit

Domestic Violence Team to Receive First Chick Ball Hero of the Year Award

THURSDAY, May 17, 2005, 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., Hal & Mal’s Red Room & Big Room

Award presentation: 8 p.m., following by a performance by Lisa Palmer and Josh Weiner

The Jackson Free Press and the JFP Chick Ball organizers and sponsors announce that Attorney General Jim Hood’s Domestic Violence Prevention Unit, headed by Assistant Attorney General Heather Wagner, will receive the Chick Ball’s first “Hero of the Year Award” at this year’s event on Thursday, May 17, 2007, at the Red Room at Hal & Mal’s in Jackson.

“Our committee decided to give props to people working to stem the unconscionable rates of domestic abuse in our state,” said JFP editor-in-chief Donna Ladd, who conceived the idea of the Chick Ball three years ago as a way to raise awareness, especially among young people, about the problem of domestic violence in the city and state. “When the women on the committee suggested this Hero award, I knew immediately that it would help bring more attention to this problem and help us raise even more money to help victims. And that is the whole point.”

The Jackson Free Press raised about $5,000 for the Center for Violence Prevention during the first two Chick Balls and hopes to raise at least that much in year three. “This year, the community committee made the Ball much bigger than the JFP. These women have promoted the event for two months, and people have come out of the woodwork to volunteer and donate prizes. They just say, ‘What can we do?’ We expect a huge crowd Thursday night.”

The committee decided to honor the attorney general’s office because the Domestic Violence Prevention Unit offers a comprehensive approach to dealing with abuse. The unit serves as a central resource for those providing enforcement, legal and other services to victims of domestic violence in Mississippi. One of their primary goals is teaching judges, prosecutors and law enforcement about domestic violence issues from the victim’s point of view. When victims are under pressure — from the community, from the abuser, financially — they desperately need a knowledgeable legal support structure to ensure their safety and the safety of their families. Putting that structure in place for Mississippi is the Domestic Violence Prevention Unit’s charter. The Chick Ball committee salutes the attorney general’s office for providing that structure.

The unit’s director, Heather Wagner, will be featured in this week’s Jackson Free Press, on the streets and the JFP website Wednesday, May 16. The JFP will provide a complimentary photo of Wagner for use by other media. Various members of the Chick Ball committee and performance roster are available for interview. Media are invited to attend the Chick Ball and urged to get the word out about this affordable charity event.

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