by Rosemarie Kud
Members of the Zonta Club of Grand Island attended the fifth annual Break the Cycle bike-a-thon and walk held at Isle View Park in Tonawanda Saturday, Sept. 27, to raise money, awareness, and, as a community, join together to break the cycle of domestic violence. The event was held in conjunction with a dedication ceremony for the new Western New York Tribute Garden, honoring victims and survivors of domestic violence.
It was a sunny and warm autumn morning, perfect for walking and biking. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Channel 7 Eyewitness News anchor Joanna Pasceri, greeted the crowd of bikers, walkers and volunteers.
Pasceri stated, "Domestic violence is a violation of safety, of dignity, and of human rights. It is not just enough that we are aware that it exists. We have to stop it by spreading the word, and we need to educate people who still do not understand what domestic violence is."
The walk/bike event concluded with the unveiling and dedication of the first phase of the park's Tribute Garden. Poloncarz led the ceremony calling on men to take action. "Enough is enough. We as a community must stand up to domestic violence," he said.
Attendants had the opportunity to view the completed sections of the tribute wall that overlook the Niagara River. The project's completion is planned for fall 2015. In addition to the tribute wall, there will also be a garden and seating area. It will serve as a remembrance to the victims and survivors of domestic violence, a place for families to visit, a beacon of hope for those experiencing domestic violence, and a reminder to all that domestic violence is not acceptable.
The successful completion of the Tribute Garden depends on donations and community involvement. Donations can be sent via the website www.tributegardenwny.org or by mailing a check to Tribute Garden, 95 Franklin St., Room 625, Buffalo, NY 14202.