WAPAKONETA — For the 26th time, the Auglaize County Crisis Center is holding a benefit auction Thursday at the Auglaize County Fairground’s Junior Fair Building to help provide shelter, support and education to victims of domestic violence.
“This is a domestic violence shelter and family violence program offered to both primary and secondary victims of domestic violence here in Auglaize County,” Executive Director Shirley Longworth said. “We provide outreach programs, shelter, case management and we assist families in finding jobs as well as fulfilling short-term goals and long-term goals like education and skills training.”
With domestic violence programs experiencing funding cuts, events such as this are crucial in providing these programs.
“We have normally been able to raise between $35,000 and $39,000 from 5 p.m. to 9 or 9:30 p.m.,” Longworth said. “We also have the Fire Department, the Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department, the FBI and State Highway Patrol will have a chili cookoff that night. You vote by putting dollars into boots. They then turn around and give all those dollars back to our agency.”
Along with local gift certificates and collectibles, Longworth said that many out-of-town attractions will be included in the auction.
“We have Kings Island tickets, Dollywood tickets, Walt Disney World tickets, The Inn at Versailles packages and more,” she said.
Last year, the center handled 2,324 crisis calls, sheltering 57 residents and serving 1,728 non-residential adults and children, highlighting the essential role the center plays in the community.
“The community is tremendously supportive, and it’s gotten 100 percent better every year,” Longworth said.