Knock Out Abuse!
Last Thursday, we went to the 24th annual Knock Out Abuse Gala at The Ritz-Carlton in Foggy Bottom.
Knock Out Abuse Against Women was established in 1993 and has become the largest fundraiser in the U.S. devoted exclusively to supporting victims of domestic violence. Here, Knock Out Abuse Against Women co-founders Cheryl Masri and Jill Sorensen.
Proceeds from the annual gala go directly to organizations offering valuable life skills, housing, counseling, education, job placement and legal protection. Here, Washington Ballet Women's Committee member Andrea Rinaldi, United Nations Foundation’s Mary-Frances Wain and Laura Evans Media’s Laura Evans.
Room & Board’s Lisa Scroggins, Melissa Mollet, BrandLinkDC’s Barbara Martin and NBC Washington’s Eun Yang.
For the past 24 years, KOA has raised more than $9M to provide support to 25,000 women and children whose lives have been shattered by abuse. Here, Megan Blair, who works in medical sales, with Becky's Fund Executive Director and founder Becky Lee.
Meridian International Center’s Natalie Jones, Dish Network’s Jessica Straus and PHI's Nora Connors.
Here, EVERFI’s Dana Purcell, Aurielle Kuehl and Ashley Glendening.
Knock Out Abuse honored men and women who have dedicated their lives, careers and voices to advocate on behalf of victims of domestic violence. Here, WUSA9’s Andrea Roane, who served as the event emcee.
Rep. Debbie Dingell has been a longtime supporter of Knock Out Abuse and successfully fought to have women included in federally funded health research, and advocated for greater awareness of issues directly related to women’s health, including breast cancer and women's heart health. She is a founder and past chair of the National Women’s Health Resource Center and the Children's Inn at the National Institutes of Health.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe addresses the crowd.
Knock Out Abuse bestowed its Break The Silence Award to Rene Denfeld, who was abused as a child and persevered, becoming an investigator specializing in sex trafficking and domestic violence cases. Denfeld turned this experience into an awareness program, writing best-selling books, including her debut novel, "The Enchanted," which was Amazon’s Book of the Month and won the French Prix Award. The Break the Silence award is presented to individuals who leverage their platforms to raise awareness of domestic violence and enact change in our community.
Here, dinner co-chairs Elissa Davidson and Sara O’Keefe. Davidson has been a devoted volunteer for The Anchor Fund, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Martha’s Table and Knock Out Abuse. Davidson’s notable Washington career includes time as a news anchor, a reporter and a Senate press secretary. O’Keefe launched a career in political fundraising on the finance team of the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton’s 2006 Senate campaign, as well as the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation, and has previously chaired the 30th Annual Choral Arts Ball and co-chaired Be Dazzled: The Opening Night Celebration for Cartier, Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Dazzling Gems.