July 2018

From the Director

We are in the heat of the summer and I hope we are all enjoying it. It’s hard to imagine that a few short weeks ago, we were having our 4th winter of the year. July brings so many wonderful things for us in the UP. There are those long-awaited summer vacations, sitting around campfires, marveling at the beauty that is Pure Michigan. The biggest holiday is the 4th of July, or more famously known as Independence Day.

What does it mean to be independent? From the birth of our country, it meant to be free of tyrannical oppression, free to practice any religion of choice without persecution, and free to pursue happiness. For our client population, independence has a very basic meaning: freedom to live without fear. For every client, this freedom has been extremely costly. The ability to live one’s life without worrying about being controlled or assaulted seems like a dream to our clients. Sometimes the cost is more than they can pay. They pay with their homes, children, and sometimes their own lives.

This month, an amazing group called the Grey Dragons Motorcycle Association, a group of retired Department of Corrections employees, will be hosting their annual “Mary’s Dream-Living Without Fear” motorcycle ride. It is a fundraising event in honor of Mary Anderson-Babb who paid the ultimate sacrifice with her life. She did everything right. She called the police. She filed personal protection orders. She used a safety plan. The day her estranged spouse decided to end her life, all of her planning was for naught.

Shel Fox of the Grey Dragons, with the help of so many volunteers and amazing riders, plans and carries out these events all over the state. They then donate all of the money raised to support several domestic violence organizations across Michigan. We are one of the lucky recipients. Each year, they have made a generous donation to our organization to help us help our clients.

This year, on July 14th, the ride will begin with registration at 9:00am at 109 Newberry Ave., Newberry, MI. All motorcycle riders are welcome to come. There will be great food, awesome prizes (did someone say Lions/Packers tickets for December 30th?), and a chance to ride with a great group through some of the most beautiful countryside. At the end of the day, you can know that all you did and experienced went to help victims of domestic violence escape fear and live with peace and independence. I hope you will consider attending this event. You will not be sorry.

– Betsy Huggett, Executive Director

Check out Shel Fox talk about Mary’s Dream Ride and read the rest of our July Newsletter Here: