Ladies Night Out will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Jan. 26 at The Heritage Center. In this Q5, Sherry Brown talks about the importance of attending this event and helping the Alliance Against Family Violence.

Ladies Night Out will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Jan. 26 at The Heritage Center. In this Q5, Sherry Brown talks about the importance of attending this event and helping the Alliance Against Family Violence. Tickets are available at the Leavenworth Times and Kansas Country Store. You can also get tickets online at leavenworthimes.com/ladiesnightout.

Why is Ladies Night Out an important way for community members to support the Alliance Against Family Violence?
The very name reminds us why we come together on this evening every January - for women and children, and remembering the importance of community involvement with those in need of help or protection from domestic violence and abuse.  
Joining us speaks loudly that we hear you, we stand together, doing whatever we can to support one another.  
Domestic violence reaches every economic boundary, every social corner and every ethnicity.  
From 2016 to 2017 domestic violence increased in Leavenworth 9 percent  and  showed a 7 percent increase in rapes. That means 798 reports in our small community in just 2017.   
These are only the reported cases.
There is little doubt that when the 2018 statistics are reported it will have increased again.

How do you think the money raised at Ladies Night Out will help the Alliance the most?
This year, Ladies Night Out will help ensure we get our shelter ready and our doors open as soon as possible.  
There are those in need right now, but just like any home or building, time and use takes its toll on vital areas that must be fully functional and operational.
Such as HVAC repairs, appliances and furniture.  We will have a “Wish List” posted on our website soon to keep the general public informed of vital needs.  
An overabundance of certain items such as clothing, clutters up valuable storage space, so we hope most folks understand and help us with our current needs.

Why is your work on the Alliance Against Family Violence board such an important part of your life?
We have opportunities in life to “make a difference!”  
Generally we won’t take that leap of faith or challenge because we feel we don’t have the time to give.  Well, it’s there if you have a passion for the mission.  I too am very busy, have personal health issues and a family.
I too need some down time to recharge. But this is my community, my home, my friends.  We are blessed with the ability to “choose” where to spend our best energy and our God-given strengths.
 I know I have stood in line at the grocery store beside someone who needed this shelter.
Instead of thinking, well, someone will step up, we have the choice of being that someone.  

As the new executive director of the Alliance how do you think Jennifer Marsh will continue to make the Alliance one of the community’s best assets?
Jen has many strengths and skills from previous positions which she is putting to good use.  
However, starting over and rebuilding a vital shelter such as this is quite simply a harder task than starting something new.  
There is old business to finish and new business to rebuild.  Jen’s tenacity and sense of balance with her position as executive director and wife and mother is extraordinary.
I believe she has a great vision for the future of this shelter. She will utilize proven strategies and fresh team-building ideas to keep us strong and well directed long into the future.  

Why is it important that community members tell their friends and family to attend Ladies Night Out and support this organization that helps people who are victims of abuse?  
First, ask everyone of your gal pals to attend.  
Have you ever watched TV and felt sad seeing a report of a hurricane or other disaster and felt, “well my $15 donation won’t make a difference?” This $15 will.
Let’s use our Ladies Night Out to pull together a show of strength and unity to help our own victims of domestic violence.
Show them that we hear you.  
We are here to help you. By simply attending this event and enjoying an evening out, you are becoming part of the solution. What an awesome feeling.
Come see me at Kansas Country Store, buy a ticket and mark your calendar.

— Rimsie McConiga