Fighting abuse with song

The Celebration of Women’s Song raised money for victims of domestic violence.
Monday, August 30, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:12 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

The sunshine was a welcome sign for the organizers of the Celebration of Women’s Song. The fund-raising event for The Shelter, a Columbia organization that helps victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, was washed out by the rain Saturday. But Sunday’s sunshine brought out a big crowd and more than 100 performers for the cause.

“It is something that involved community people do for us,” said Leigh Voltmer, the executive director of The Shelter.

Suzan Franck, Jane Accurso and Deb D’Agostino organized and coordinated the second annual fund-raiser. Voltmer said the goal was to raise $5,000.

“The donations go directly toward services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault,” she said.

The Shelter helps pay for school supplies, counseling sessions and overnight stays for victims of abuse.

The event was held at D’Agostino’s Italian Restaurant and in the Cherry Hill town center. Performers included belly-dancers, a theatrical troupe and singer-songwriters.

“It is women performing together for a purpose,” Voltmer said.

Royda Crose heard about the event through a community radio station and said she enjoyed a poetry performance she heard as well as the sunny afternoon.

“It’s a nice afternoon, nice event and nice cause,” Crose said.

Many of the performers, including Betty Lindsey, stayed around to see other artists.

“We’ve been here since it started,” said Lindsey, who said she enjoyed performing her original songs with her group, The Infamous Angels.

Linda Jacobs said the environment, with a garden and gazebo, allowed people to enjoy the live outdoor music. Jacobs participated in the event last year and said she was happy to return.

Jacobs raises sheep and rabbits and makes handspun yarn, which she uses to make items such as hats and scarves. She and other artists set up booths to sell their goods.

“This event could grow easily,” Jacobs said.

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