Brooklyn Boro

Women’s Bar raises money for women’s shelters during holiday party

December 10, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: Sara J. Gozo, Helene Blank, Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix, Hon. Sarah L. Krauss and Holly Peck. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association (BWBA) held its annual holiday party on Wednesday night at the Brooklyn Bar Association building on Remsen Street, and in doing so it raised thousands of dollars in money for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

“All of these raffles [are] to raise money for Safe Homes,” said BWBA President Helene Blank. “It’s a place where women and children who are victims of family violence and abuse can find safe haven. So we’re doing a toy drive for those children, and raising money for Safe Homes.”

More than 100 people showed up to the party, and every attendant donated money to Good Shepherd’s Safe Homes Project in one way or another. Each guest was expected to bring an unwrapped toy for the children involved in Safe Homes in order to get in the door.

On top of the toy donations, the BWBA raffled off many donated items. Last year, the group raised more than $5,000 through its raffle and expected a much greater return this year.

“We give 100 percent of that money to charity,” said Michele Mirman, who helped organize the party. “None of the money comes back to the Women’s Bar. It all goes to [Safe Homes]. Wonderful people have donated these gifts, really good local businesses. A lot of Brooklyn institutions — Barneys, the Brooklyn Museum, Botanic Gardens, vendors up and down Court Street, a lot of attorneys and judges gave gifts that we can auction off.

“We managed to raise $5,000 last year and our party was about half the size it is this year, so we expect to exceed that by leaps and bounds this time around,” Mirman said.

The donation efforts at the holiday party have been in place every year since 2008. The effort has become so successful that the group is looking into other ways to raise money, including a college scholarship fund.

Before the event ended, Blank took a moment to thank Mirman for her and her team’s efforts in organizing the party. She also thanked Justice Lawrence Knipel, the administrative judge for civil matters at Brooklyn’s Supreme Court, for the excellent work he has done throughout the past year.

“Before I do anything else, and I know that this is not usually done, I want to acknowledge my great team that put this together,” Blank said. “The number one person is Michele Mirman. If not for her and the other wonderful people involved, this would not be the success it is tonight.

“I also want to single out Judge Knipel, because he is the administrative judge of the County of Kings. He’s doing great things; I just want you to know. We’re going e-filing soon and that’s great, we’re getting better Wi-Fi in the courthouse.” 

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