On Friday, Aug. 2, at the Niagara Falls Country Club, The It Happened to Alexa Foundation will host its 11th annual fundraising dinner. Readers can support the valuable work of The Alexa Foundation by purchasing a ticket or table, donating an auction item or becoming a sponsor of the dinner.
Organizers say a fun-filled evening is planned. Activities include a basket auction and entertainment by a local band, sponsored by Hops & Vines. The event will be hosted by WKBW-TV news anchor Keith Radford.
The evening will highlight two awardees in the victim advocate field, as nominated by their peers (one from Erie County and one from Niagara County).
Founded by Tom and Stacey Branchini, It Happened to Alexa Foundation honors the courage of their daughter, Alexa, who survived a traumatic rape by a stranger who broke into her college dormitory the second week of her freshman year.
The only one of its kind in the country, this Lewiston-based national foundation provides financial, emotional and advocacy assistance to victims who prosecute their attacker(s).
The Alexa Foundation will be celebrating 11 years of successfully supporting hundreds of victims of sexual assault and their families, and aiding U.S. citizens in 43 states and 15 foreign countries.
The Alexa Foundation has garnered national attention numerous times over the past 11 years, including coverage on the "Montel Williams Show," CNN, "Today," Readers Digest, People magazine and many times on "The O'Reilly Factor." Annual events to benefit the Alexa Foundation are held in Palm Beach, Fla., Boston, Houston and Lewiston. In 2014, the Alexa Foundation will be launching the first Mount Kilimanjaro fundraising climb, a seven-day trek with base camp set up by a five-star resort, including gourmet meals and accompaniment by world renowned tour guides.
It was the financial support initially provided by the people of Western New York that launched The Alexa Foundation. Thanks to sound financial management by the IHTAF founders, the money from the initial fundraising dinner was set up as an endowment, which has been building for 11 years. Each year, the fundraiser is central to the organization's financial wellbeing.
The gala dinner committee includes Bridget Schroder, John DiFiore, Gail McMahon, Janet DiFiore, Jackie Ebert, Donna Portale, Dave Fleck, Cheryl Green, Sandra Lahrache, Dorothy Wedge, Elizabeth Roesch, Frank Shusi, Tim Tutko, Lorrie Mandell, Jamie Mandell, Shoshanna Cogan, Sharon Ruggirello, Jamie Symmonds, Elizabeth DiFiore, Lynn Moller, Kristen Richards, Patty Lank, Fay Northrup, Claire Augello, Karen Tweedie-Oakley and Margy Toohey.