EASLEY — Preparations are underway for the sixth annual MARYS House masquerade ball to be held Tuesday night.
MARYS (Ministry Alliance for Regaining Your Safety) House provides emergency safe shelter for families who are victims of domestic violence.
The ball, held annually at The Bleu Voodoo restaurant in downtown Easley, is the main fundraiser for the organization, said Robert Cowan, organizer and board member for MARYS House.
In addition to providing a safe place to stay, MARYS House also provides food, clothing, personal hygiene items, counseling, resources and referrals according to individual needs.
“During the stay at our shelter, each client works with our professional staff to identify needs and set goals,” reads the rescue group’s website. “Clients receive individual and group counseling, case management, referrals, advocacy, and all basic living necessities during their shelter stay. Follow-up support is available and encouraged for clients who have completed their stay.”
All services are free or victims and their children, but as a Christian organization (and thereby exempt from many federal grants and funds) the shelter itself is heavily dependant on donations, said a MARYS House representative.
“We serve Pickens County, the Upstate and anyone who is in need of a safe refuge,” they said. “We aim to provide clients the tools they need to make the permanent changes necessary for a life without domestic violence. We also provide emotional support, with counseling and conversations with other victims.”
Ticket sales for the masquerade ball have fallen this year, although the need for the shelter’s services has remained constant.
“We always have full beds and we don’t kick people out,” said Cowan in a previous interview. “These women and families have been through a lot and if their not ready, they’re not ready.”
MARYS Hope is designed as a transitional program to assist in regaining independence, he said. The program assists individuals in building self-esteem with education and employment assistance, teaches budgeting and socialization skills.
Hope also offers workshops, support groups and Bible studies, along with a variety of classes and therapies to develop healthy life coping skills.
Tickets for the Masquerade Ball in support of MARYS House are available at The Bleu Voodoo and at Wingard Jewelers for $40 a person and include hors d’oeuvres, a seated meal, live music, silent auction, a raffle and a best mask contest.
For more information, visit www.maryshouse.com/events.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.