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October is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and this is why Bedford Domestic Violence Services uses this month for both major fundraising and awareness efforts.
Fundraising is being done with a major goal in mind, according to Leanne Dudley, Bedford Domestic Violence Services' director. BDVS currently rents its office and the space used for the battered women's shelter. Dudley said that the goal is to be able to buy homes for the walk-in office and shelter. The staff also want to raise a sufficient amount of money to establish a maintenance fund to care for these places once they purchase them.
The first event is Bikers Against Domestic Violence.
It’s a fundraiser and Dudley said they have contacted all area churches with biker ministries looking for participants. Participation costs $10 per bike and $5 per passenger, or a donation of supplies of equal value. The motorcycles meet at The Kirk in Forest at noon on Oct. 7 and the riders return there. The congregation will feed the bikers and they will be eligible for motorcycle-related door prizes donated by area businesses. Contact Terry Stevens at (434) 583-6218 for more information.
The next fundraising event is the 2nd Annual Forest Softball Benefit Game. It pits a team consisting of area clergy against a team comprised of members of the Bedford Police Department, the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and the Forest Volunteer Fire Department. The game starts at 7 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the FYAA Sports Complex Main Field on Thomas Jefferson Road (Va. 811) in Forest. Admission is $3 at the gate. This event also features door prizes, including tickets to Lynchburg Hillcats games and Liberty University sporting events.
The Sam Austin Band will hold a benefit concert on Oct. 12 from 8 p.m. to midnight. This event will be at the Bedford Moose Lodge and is open to the public with a $10 admission. Tickets to the event can be purchased at Backstage Salon in Bedford. Austin plays country music.
A candlelight vigil will be held on Oct. 18 to raise public awareness about victims of domestic violence. This event starts on the Bedford County Courthouse steps and will proceed to a bench on Bedford Avenue dedicated in memory of Sherry Connor, a local woman who was killed in a domestic violence incident. Judge Carey Payne of Lynchburg will be a the guest speaker. Payne was formerly an attorney in the Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
The final event of the month is the Purple Gala on Oct. 25. This event runs from 7 to 9:30 p.m. and features live and silent auctions. Joe Pillow will be the auctioneer for the live auction. All items have been donated by businesses, such as Arthurs Jewelry and individuals. Dudley said that Ruth Crouch, Bedford’s Pie Lady, is donating five pies.