Morinville DQ Blizzard Day to help provide safety for survivors of domestic abuse

by Staff

On Thursday, Feb. 29, Morinville Dairy Queen Grill and Chill will play host to a special event aimed at supporting survivors of domestic violence. The Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation (JMMF) Blizzard Day will see all proceeds from Blizzards and gift certificates for Blizzards sold on Leap Day go towards aiding survivors at Jessie’s House and Eileen’s Place.

“We anticipate this campaign will raise $12,000, which will go toward realizing our vision of a future free of domestic violence for all individuals,” said Marla Poelzer, Executive Director of the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation. “This is the first year for this campaign since the onset of COVID-19. Last time around, we were about to open the doors of Jessie’s House. Today, we are about to open the doors of Eileen’s Place, our new second-stage housing program.”

Eileen’s Place, set to open in April 2024, consists of three apartment-style units for families ready to leave Jessie’s House, providing safe, trauma-informed, supportive living for up to two years. This new transitional housing program will offer a myriad of supports to meet the needs of abused adults and children, including subsidized rent, food security, employment readiness, and counselling.

Poelzer expressed gratitude for the community’s support, stating, “This campaign and the generosity of our community will help us provide essential programming at Eileen’s Place, as operations are currently unfunded by the government. We are so proud of our grassroots history and the support from our community. We know that Morinville will come out to support us on Blizzard Day, and we are truly so grateful to Morinville Dairy Queen and our community!”

JMMF Blizzard Day will occur at Morinville Dairy Queen Grill & Chill, Unit 1, 8807 100 Street, from 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It presents an opportunity for the community to rally together to support a crucial cause while enjoying a sweet treat.

The Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation, formed in 2012 after the tragic death of Jessica Martel, operates Jessie’s House, a 35-bed all-gender emergency shelter. They support survivors of domestic violence through outreach and education programming, primarily serving Sturgeon County, St. Albert, and surrounding areas, including Edmonton.

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