Arts and Entertainment

Arts Alive back for round three

Bonnie Gorecki, a volunteer with the YWCA’s ALIVE Shelter, stands next to the Augusta Asbury painting in the front lobby of the YWCA building. - Steven DeDual/staff photo
Bonnie Gorecki, a volunteer with the YWCA’s ALIVE Shelter, stands next to the Augusta Asbury painting in the front lobby of the YWCA building.
— image credit: Steven DeDual/staff photo

It is the third time in as many years the YWCA of Kitsap County will throw its Suquamish Tribe and Puget Sound Energy sponsored Arts Alive gala to raise money for its Alternatives to Living In Violent Environments Shelter.

But things will be a bit different this time around, according to YWCA of Kitsap County Executive Director Linda Joyce.

“Rather than doing an auction that can become costly to our supporters, we are going to have a marketplace instead,” she said.

The Oct. 16 event starts at 10 a.m. in the Norm Dicks Government Center and will include more than 30 artists and vendors selling their wares, each giving 20 percent of sales directly to the YWCA’s ALIVE Shelter. Those interested in attending also can get a 10 percent off coupon from the YWCA to use at the marketplace.

The well-known, red-carpet cocktail party that has always been Arts Alive will be 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and include wine, hors d’oeuvres, performing arts, food, music by the “Blues Counselors” and dancing. Availability is limited, so responses should be made by tomorrow, according to Joyce.

“Some people look at it as a chance to dress up,” she said.

This year, the YWCA is combining its Unity Luncheon with the Arts Alive event and will be honoring three individuals for their efforts.

Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jay Roof will be honored for his work with drug court; Sen. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) will be honored for his role in strengthening education across the state; and YWCA volunteer Bonnie Gorecki, who benefited from the ALIVE Shelter, will be recognized for her service to the organization.

Gorecki said she was involved in a “domestic violence situation” in 2007 and had no family or friends to rely on. She turned to the YWCA, specifically the ALIVE Shelter, for help.

“It is comforting to hear the voice on the other end of the line and you know they want to help,” she said.

The Port Orchard resident has since gotten her life together and now spends much of her free time volunteering and, as she said, “giving back.”

She has helped women in the shelter acclimate to the new environment by getting the clothes and toiletry items they need from storage, joining support groups and even getting the YWCA involved in this year’s Relay for Life event.

“Whatever needs to be done, she just does it,” Joyce said.

Gorecki said many people helped by the YWCA come back to volunteer and it is probably because of the “overwhelming enjoyment” they get from it.

“You don’t get to keep what you don’t give away,” Gorecki said.

Joyce said the community’s support of the YWCA has always been great and it is because of the people here in our community.

“Our community is unique,” she said. “I lived in Los Angeles and the sense of community isn’t anything like it is here.”

Honorary chairs for this year’s event are Kitsap County Commissioner Steve Bauer, community volunteer DeDe Beckley and Collective Visions Gallery owner Alan Newberg.

Joyce said special thanks go out to Lisa Stirrett from the YWCA’s advisory committee for arranging the vendors for the marketplace and, as always, to the volunteers who make the YWCA mission possible.

“Our volunteers are worth their weight in gold,” she said. “We could not do what we do without them.”

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