Home for domestic abuse victims snags $20,000 grant

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Barbara Olton

The Retreat, serving the needs of domestic abuse victims throughout the East End, has received a $20,000 grant from the Mary Kay Foundation.

This is the second grant the East Hampton-based organization has received in the past few weeks. Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) announced a $50,000 grant to The Retreat just three weeks ago.

“We are honored that our shelter has been chosen by The Mary Kay Foundation,” said Retreat Shelter Director Minerva Perez. The money will be used to support the “critical and life-saving services” provided to victims of domestic violence on the “path to long-term safety, security and independence,” she said.

“That was really a neat grant,” said Shelter Islander Barbara Olton, former Retreat board president, referring to the Mary Kay money. While the state grant provides funds for advocacy activities, including helping battered women and children understand their rights and accompanying them to court proceedings, the new grant can also be used toward providing emergency shelter for women and children who need to escape an abuser.

Ms. Olton organized the September 28 golf tournament at the Shelter Island Country Club to benefit the Retreat that netted $7,000 for The Retreat.  She credits former Gardiner’s Bay Country Club golf pro and Reporter columnist Bob DeStefano with organizing the event. It was the first time the Retreat had sponsored such an event on Shelter Island.

“It was such a heartwarming thing,” Ms. Olton said

It’s estimated that about 40 residents here sought services from the The Retreat in 2012 alone, according to Police Chief Jim Read.