Turning Point fundraiser aims to raise awareness about domestic violence in McHenry County

CRYSTAL LAKE – Friday morning began the 36-hour radiothon to benefit McHenry County’s only domestic violence shelter.

The eighth annual Take a Stand for Turning Point, held in the Sam’s Club parking lot in Crystal Lake and broadcast by Star 105.5, will have music, games, crafts and other activities to raise money for the domestic violence agency.

Turning Point hopes to raise $100,000 over the two-day event, Executive Director Jane Farmer said.

“[$100,000] would mean an awful lot to us,” Farmer said. “It would be incredibly helpful. It would help make sure domestic violence victims, women and children, get what they need. All of the money is local money, and all of it goes to the clients of Turning Point.”

Last year, the event raised about $82,000 for the agency.

Turning Point offers victims of domestic violence and their children safe shelter, along with individual counseling, group counseling, specialized children’s programs and help with orders of protection. Money from this weekend’s fundraiser will go toward funding those programs, but also helps to raise awareness about domestic violence in McHenry County, Farmer said.

“Domestic violence is happening every day,” Farmer said. “This is just a weekend that we spotlight for the county what were doing for domestic violence victims. Any day of the week, they’re still having these things happen to them.”

Turning Point helped 1,700 victims of domestic violence and issued more than 600 orders of protection for McHenry County residents last year alone.

“We want to make sure people understand how much domestic violence is out there,” said Betsy Cosgray, events coordinator for Turning Point. “It’s such a hidden crime. People don’t know about it and don’t want to talk about it.”

Star 105.5 has broadcast the event each of the past seven years, and promotions manager Tina Szamlewski said the station was thrilled to be a part of year eight.

“Every single year we want to make it better,” said Szamlewski, who is also the co-host of Star’s morning show. “There was a point where Turning Point almost closed. Their doors literally almost closed if it wasn’t for the radiothon we did.
“It’s a great fit and a great organization. It would be silly for us not to [work with them]. It’s kind of our duty to do it.”

Absent from the fundraiser are outspoken victims of domestic violence, as their safety would be in jeopardy if their abusers knew their location. Turning Point volunteers and those who donate are there to speak for them, Farmer said.

“Victims can’t come out here because it’s not a safe place for them to be,” she said. “We’re the hands and feet of victims out here.”

Take a Stand for Turning Point will continue until 6 p.m. Saturday evening. For more information call Turning Point at 815-338-8081 or visit www.mchenrycountyturningpoint.org.

Event continues Saturday

The activities Saturday, which run until 6 p.m., feature a Take a Hike 1-mile walk, a family fun fair and a live band, games, activities and more. The event also will accept donations of bagged clothing, shoes and household linens.

For information, call 815-338-8081 or visit www.mchenrycountyturningpoint.org.

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