Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation inviting public to Annual General Meeting

martelBy Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – An organization named after a Morinville woman killed by her common law husband a few years ago is working to prevent similar situations from happening to other women. The Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation (JMMF) is holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Green Bean on 100 Street June 14 at 7 p.m. They are hoping residents will come out to learn more about the organization and its mission.

“Our AGM is an open forum for local and interested community people to come and ask questions, find out about the supports we offer, and who we can help,” said JMF Board member Rebecca Holland. “We often have a mindset if we don’t hear about it, it’s not an issue. Sadly, we don’t hear about it and it is a massive issue. Domestic and relationship violence are so very frequent, and the resources are so needed. There are often huge waits. If you are rural, and don’t have transportation into a major city, or finances to support a fresh start, victims of violence are often left without power and resources.”

Holland said in the past week, Foundation President Lynne Rosychuk (Martel’s mother) has received 10 phone calls from women fleeing violent situations, two of those in Morinville. “Our foundation is supporting the dire needs of one young mother, and without the support offered in our community and within our foundation, there wouldn’t be another option,” Holland said. “Her needs are not typical, and we called on our 711-member Morinville’s Marvelous Moms group to help, and they did [by] donating gift cards, diapers, household supplies, newborn clothes, and personal hygiene supplies. The need still exists for this family, and many others.”

It is too late to help Jessica Martel, but the organization is hoping Morinville and Sturgeon County residents will attend the June 14 meeting to learn about the organization and ways they might be able to assist the Foundation’s work.

“No one is immune,” Holland said of domestic violence, adding there isn’t a typical victim or survivor. “We are all deserving of a safe and caring relationship, and if you need support in Sturgeon County, there are too few options and too much need. Our foundation is built entirely of volunteers, and we believe every person needs a safe haven.”

The JMMF board member said the organization is part of the community because this is where Jessica lived, raised a family, and sadly died. “We see the need in our area daily,” Holland said, adding those wanting to get informed or involved should consider joining the JMMF for their open house-style AGM.

That meeting takes place at The Green Bean June 14 at 7 p.m. For more information visit thejessicamartelmemorialfoundation.com.

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