Dedicating time to save others from abuse

20 Feb 2018
Aruna Hall (R) and Kate Schellenberg

Bravestone Centre helps women and children affected by domestic violence

Fundraising can be challenging, but when the money is going to a worthy cause, the effort is worth it.

That’s what Aruna Hall has found. Hall sits on the board of directors for the Bravestone Centre and chairs its special events committee.

The Bravestone Centre is a charitable non-profit organization that provides full-time counselling and support programs to women and children who are affected by domestic violence.

“Fundraising is very rewarding because you know the money you’re working so hard to raise goes toward running the programs,” Hall says.

Originally from Chennai, a city in southern India, Hall immigrated to Canada in 1968. She now works as a travel agent, and joined Bravestone’s board of directors six years ago.

Hall and her colleagues on the special events committee typically organize three fundraisers a year, including a comedy night at Rumor’s and a quiz night at a church that features trivia, mini-games between rounds, a silent auction and a 50/50 draw.

Kate Schellenberg, who sits with Hall on Bravestone’s board of directors, fondly recalls the organization’s first quiz night in 2015.

Because they had never organized that type of fundraiser, no one was sure how it would turn out. They ended up selling out the venue.

“Everyone had a great time and it was just wonderful chaos for five hours,” Schellenberg says. “When I got home, my feet were sore, my legs were sore and I thought, ‘Wow, that was so much fun.’”

Previously called WISH Inc. (Women in Second Stage Housing), Bravestone has existed for more than 28 years. The centre has 14 suites for clients of Bravestone’s 12-month program.

Board members don’t interact with clients, but get to hear about what’s going on at Bravestone when Lori Rudniski, the centre’s executive director, makes her report at the monthly board meetings.

“One of the reasons I like volunteering the most is hearing those reports from Lori,” Schellenberg says. “Even though we’re not actively in it, what we’re doing is making a difference for the clients at Bravestone. It is a pretty necessary need in our city.”

Hall agrees.

“I enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that I’m helping somebody else,” she says. “I think it’s important for everybody to give back to the community.”

Bravestone Centre is holding its fourth annual quiz night on March 10, at Sts. Peter & Paul Parish Centre (400 Marion St.). There are further details at bravestonecentre.ca/events.

Hall is looking for volunteers to help at the event, as well as to help with other upcoming fundraisers. The amount of time and effort required varies depending on the event.

Anyone interested can contact Hall via email at arunahall@shaw.ca for more information.

“There are so many great causes these days and so many people in need, and Manitobans are very generous,” Hall says. “We could use a lot of volunteers for our quiz night, and if they want to stay on as committee members afterward, we will most definitely welcome them.”

If you know a special volunteer, please contact aaron.epp@gmail.com.


Originally published by the Winnipeg Free Press: 02/20/2018
By: Aaron Epp

Phone 204-275-2600 Donate to Bravestone Centre now through CanadaHelps.org.