October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – The Zonta Club of Charles County’s 9th Annual RAVE Walk fundraiser, dedicated in memory of Gayle A. Cooke will be held at The College of Southern Maryland on October 13, 2012. The proceeds from the walk helps local nonprofit agencies provide services to victims of sexual assault as well as domestic and teen violence prevention and recovery programs here in Southern Maryland.
On April 10, 2012, Zonta Club of Charles County and The College of Southern Maryland established The Zonta RAVE Walk Scholarship in Memory of Gayle A. Cooke. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance to help survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault complete an educational program that will allow them to secure employment and financial stability necessary for independence and self-sufficiency.
For the fall 2012 semester, $12,500 has been awarded to five courageous women in our community who have taken the essential steps to move forward from abuse by pursuing degrees in nursing, business management, social science, and psychology.
RAVE is an acronym for Rape and Violence Eradication. The 3-mile RAVE walk is the perfect opportunity for volunteers and club teams, to get active, improve their fitness, foster a spirit of community involvement and support a great cause.
In 2010, Zonta members and the family of Gayle Cooke joined together. “This year’s walk is dedicated in memory of Gayle Cooke, a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend who lost her life ten years ago on Jan. 25 to domestic violence while protecting her daughter from an estranged boyfriend,” according to Ann Rees, event co-chair. Gayle was an admired community volunteer and the States Attorneys Victim Witness Coordinator for victims of crime. “She dedicated her life to protecting victims of domestic violence/crime,” says Fern Brown, retired Domestic Violence Coordinator at the Charles County Circuit Court.
Participants raise pledges from friends, family, classmates and coworkers beforehand for a commitment to walk indoors at their local mall. All proceeds will go to the Zonta Fund established through the Community Foundation of Charles County, a 501(c)(3) public charity.
Checks should be made payable to The Zonta Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation of Charles County (CFCC). The Community Foundation of Charles County supports the development and prudent stewardship of short or long term funds and endowments that operate under the Foundation. These funds/endowments are created by individuals, corporations, nonprofit agencies and service clubs to benefit charitable programs, governmental entities or educational institutions. Please send payments to: Zonta Club of Charles County, P.O. Box 691, White Plains, MD 20695.