Oregon City, OR. Clackamas Women’s Services (CWS) raised a historic $125,000 for individuals and families escaping domestic violence at its annual Pathways Gala and Auction at The Abernethy Center in Oregon City on October 17th. More than 250 guests came to support core programming for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, including emergency shelter, counseling, confidential advocacy, and children’s programming. Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas; Bill Stewart; Senator Rob Wagner; Laurie Wagner supported the event. (Photo credit, Juliana Patrick)

Catharine Koch; Kristin Schlotterbeck; Ashley McArdle; Chief Deputy District Attorney John Wentworth; Clackamas County Undersheriff Angela Brandenburg; A Safe Place Director Lt. Michael Copenhaver; Clackamas Women’s Services Executive Director Melissa Erlbaum

Executive Director Melissa Erlbaum

Keynote speaker and Cheif Operating Officer of Self Enhancement, Inc. Libra Forde

Libra Forde provided the keynote address, commending the community for its ongoing engagement in breaking the isolation of domestic and sexual violence, and supporting survivors in accessing safety. Guests also heard from a survivor of human trafficking who shared her experience finding safety at The Village, the organization’s emergency shelter. The event is the largest fundraising event of the year for Clackamas Women’s Services and most successful fundraiser in the non-profit’s 34-year history.

Supporters at the event included Senator Rob Wagner, Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts, Tribal Council member Denise Harvey, and Clackamas County Commissioner Martha Schrader. The gala included a Golden Ticket Raffle, Wall of Wine, Wonder Wall, and Live Auction.

Funds raised at the gala will also contribute to several new endeavors the organization launched this year: the Legal Empowerment Accelerator Program (LEAP), a legal incubator program to provide civil legal services for survivors; Communities for Safe Kids, a school-based child sexual abuse prevention program; and the Elder Abuse Program.

Event sponsors included Castparts Employee Federal Credit Union, The Doctors Company, and PCC Structurals.

People experiencing domestic or sexual violence can contact a confidential advocate with Clackamas Women’s Services for help and support through their 24-hour crisis line at 1-888-654-2288. Community members looking to support Clackamas Women’s Services can email [email protected] to become involved.

From Clackamas Women’s Services:
Clackamas Women’s Services (CWS) formed in 1985 when community members saw their community impacted by domestic violence and banded together to create a solution. CWS grew out of neighbors opening their homes and sharing what they had in hopes of building a safer community for families. Since that time, CWS has grown beyond shelter to offer a wide range of services for anyone experiencing domestic and sexual violence from initial crisis through to long-term healing. They continue the legacy of working with community members, emergency responders, social services partners, and local businesses to build communities that protect and support survivors. Those interested in working with CWS through volunteer service or financial support can find more information on their website. To learn more, please visit https://www.cwsor.org/. The 24-hour crisis line is 1-888-654-2288.

The annual Pathways Gala will be held again next year on October 8th at The Abernethy Center.