4th Annual Break-Free Gala includes $100,000 donation from Pembina

Above: Teena Hughson, Ernie Overeem, Lynne Rosychuk, Kris Porlier and Wayne Carey pose for a $100,000 cheque presentation to the JMMF. – Lucie Roy Photos

by Lucie Roy

The 4th Annual Break-Free to End Domestic Violence Gala in support of the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation (JMMF) was held Saturday at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre (MCCC).

The event is the single largest fundraiser for the charity and included a Pembina Pipeline Corporation cheque presentation of $100,000, Live Auction conducted by emcee and auctioneer Nolan Crouse, Silent Auction, Wine Tree Raffle, circus-style entertainment by Transflowmation and a buffet meal.

The proceeds of this event will fund the construction of Jessie’s House, a safe house which will provide shelter to residents of the Sturgeon Region and City of St. Albert who are fleeing domestic violence.

$100,000 Cheque

Apart from being Building Lives Sponsors at the Gala, Pembina Pipeline Corporation (Redwater & Sherwood Park) also made a cheque presentation.

The joint presentation was made by Pembina Redwater District Manager Wayne Carey and Supervisor, Athabasca District Ernie Overeem.

Accepting on behalf of JMMF was Teena Hughson, Community Engagement Coordinator, Co-Founder and President Lynne Rosychuk and Kris Porlier, Director JMMF Board of Directors.

Overeem spoke briefly on Pembina, a midstream company with infrastructure that connects oil and gas production to markets that need it and they have pipelines that run throughout the region, including Sturgeon County and Morinville. In Central Alberta Pembina have offices near Redwater and in Sherwood Park.

Carey spoke on the safe house and said, “That dedicated safe place that currently does not exist in the Sturgeon Region. Soon, however, those fleeing dangerous situations will be able to turn to Jessie’s House. Jessie’s House will be a place where survivors of domestic violence can find refuge and it will be the first of its kind in the Sturgeon Region and City of St. Albert. This is a huge win for our community. it is a sign that we will not tolerate domestic violence and that together, we will help bring safety and hope to vulnerable individuals and families.”

He went on to say, “We at Pembina recognize the opportunity we have to support this very important community asset. It is why I am proud to share with you that Pembina is donating $100,000 to help with the cost of construction of Jessie’s House.”

Overeem said, “For us it was an easy decision, and we know that Jessie’s House is the right place to invest Pembina’s support. Communities throughout our operation put their trust in Pembina and permit us to operate in their backyards.

Through Pembina’s Community Investment Program, we honour this relationship. To Teena Hughson, we commend you and your committee on all your efforts to make this evening a success, and to Kris Porlier and your team, we applaud the important work you are doing in the community.”

Ground-Breaking & Capital Housing Campaign

In his presentation, Porlier spoke of the construction that began in September on Jessie’s House.
They are currently fundraising the remaining 40 percent of the funds necessary to complete the build and support the first year of operation.

They also recently launched the JMMF Capital Housing Campaign, an initiative to try to raise money through room sponsorship. He said they started last year informally and soon people will notice posters.

The JMMF was established January 2012 in response to the tragic death of Jessica Martel, a 26-year-old woman who was murdered by her comon-law husband in Morinville.

Lynne Rosychuk and Teena Hughson

Entertainment by the Transflowmation

Entertaining the crowd in the foyer

First item for the Live Dessert Auction,Lynne Rosychuk was holding M&M Love cookies. The 24 cookies sold for $400.

Kris Porlier at the lectern with emcee Nolan Crouse standing to the side.

Nolan Crouse auctioning off a cake at the Dessert Auction.

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