Pirate’s Ball raises bounty for Piedmont Rape Crisis Center


Robert Schuenemann, who had the idea for the Pirate’s Ball, was presented with a certificate of appreciation by Mark Sigman during the gala event.

By ROXANE ROSE, rrose@clickthepaper.com

Some 75 people hoisted the mizzen and enjoyed music, grog and salmagundi to raise funds for the Piedmont Rape Crisis Center at the inaugural Pirate’s Ball on Oct. 6.

The event, held at the Jefferson Civic Center, featured dinner, locally made desserts, entertainment by the Highway 211 Band and wonderful silent auction items and door prizes.

Almost everyone in attendance was decked out in their finest pirate attire – Jack Sparrow and his shipmates, buccaneers, wenches, rogue pirates, captains, first mates, swashbucklers and even a ghost pirate were represented.

The event netted approximately $7,000 for the organization, which offers education and support to adult victims of sexual assault.

Susan Cash, program director of the Piedmont Rape Crisis Center, said she is thrilled with the amount raised, especially considering it was a first-time event.

“It looks like we are going to do it again next year – the committee members are already talking about it,” Cash said. “After any event, we have a post-event meeting or party, so we will do that with the Pirate’s Ball and make a decision then.”

The board and volunteers spent six months working on the Pirate’s Ball.

“We worked a lot of weekends and a lot of nights. Some people took time off from work to help with set up,” Cash said.

“I have to say, Sherrie Sigman is amazing,” Cash said of the organization’s secretary for the board of directors. “She has her hand in every fundraiser we do, and she spends a lot of her own money. For the Pirate’s Ball, Sherrie purchased a good number of the silent auction and door prize items.”

Other board members and volunteers spend a lot of their own money as well, added Cash, and none of them get into the fundraisers free. They pay their way like any other attendee.

“I tell them all the time, ‘We may be tiny but we are mighty!’” Cash said. “I couldn’t ask for a better board of directors.”

Robert Schuenemann, the longest-standing board member for the Piedmont Rape Crisis Center, was presented with a certificate of appreciation by Mark Sigman during the event.

“The Pirate’s Ball was Robert’s idea,” Cash explained. “He is kind of head honcho of fundraisers, or, our fundraising guru.”

The next fundraiser for the Piedmont Rape Crisis Center is the annual Ride to Survive motorcycle event. In its eighth year, the ride is held the last Saturday of April. In 2013, that is April 27.

The ride draws about 200 participants from across Georgia and typically features food, live music from a local band and raffles. In addition to raising funds and awareness, Ride to Survive is a fun and unique opportunity for the public to learn more about the organization as well as issues related to sexual assault and violence.

The Piedmont Rape Crisis Center, which serves Barrow, Banks and Jackson counties, aims to end sexual assault by empowering adult sexual assault victims into survivors through advocacy, support, community awareness and education.

In 2011, PRCC served 100 victims. In early October, PRCC had already reached 100 served, as well as taking 460 crisis calls.

“I depend on our volunteers and volunteer advocates,” Cash said during remarks at the Pirate’s Ball. Later, she noted, “We are always looking for more volunteers, board members and volunteer advocates to assist the victims. I will be scheduling another volunteer advocate training session soon.”

For more information, call 770-586-5423, e-mail piedmontrapecrisiscenter@yahoo.com or visit www.piedmontrapecrisis.com.


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