Girlfriends Lend a Helping Hand to Wellspring

It had been a very bad week for women. The annual Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends evening out at Longfellows landed right after movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault scandal broke.

Were the ladies of Saratoga really up for a night of fashion, art, fun and pampering?

As it turns out, absolutely. Because the evening — and the cause it was benefiting, Wellspring — was created for helping survivors of domestic violence and assault, which felt more timely and essential than ever.

The Oct. 11 party graced three floors, featuring an array of the city’s chicest goods and services from Lifestyles and Violet’s, to Alexis Aida and Saratoga Day Spa, to Razimus and Spoken.

“This evening was created for Wellspring by the women of Saratoga,” said Maggie Fronk, executive director at Wellspring. She credited three key women behind Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends: Pam Worth of Spoken, Heidi West of Lifestyles, and Laura Farrar-Pileckas of Violet’s.

“They are absolutely essential to our work. It’s these women, and their friends and cohorts in Saratoga, who enable Wellspring to serve the community,” Fronk said.

“Both domestic violence and sexual assault are prevalent in our community, but often hidden from view. These kinds of events… increase awareness, so that individuals know there’s a place to get help and are better able to recognize subtle signs of abuse.”

The evening of early holiday shopping (for a cause!), flowing bars, a fashion show, fantastic music, great food from Longfellows and networking felt like a vacation from bad news — with a dose of comfort that the fight to prevent abuse is strong.

Over 200 people attended, raising $20,000 towards crisis and support services, and prevention programs at Saratoga schools.

Founded nearly 40 years ago as a provider of basic shelter and crisis services, Wellspring today offers a full range of emergency, shelter and community services that are free and confidential.

Last year, Wellspring responded to 1,600 calls to its hotline, counseled 800 abuse survivors, and provided 19,000 safe-bed nights to clients and their children, a 35 percent increase over last year, according to Wellspring’s annual report.

“We want to reduce the stigma and the prevalence of abuse,” Fronk said. “Our goal is to end relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County.” For more information, visit wellspringcares.org.

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