Over 150 people participated in the 21st Annual Jeans and Gems Gala to benefit the Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women, now known as Southern Valley Alliance, on June 12. Originally slated as a live event at Mystic Lake Casino on April 17, the COVID pandemic forced a change of both venue and date. Staff members and volunteers quickly turned the live event into a virtual event, which raised over $44,000 for the organization.
The biggest news of the night was the unveiling of the organization’s new name – Southern Valley Alliance, new logo and new brand, which are designed to build visibility and meet changing community needs.
"As we recognize and honor our history, we are excited to move forward and help even more people in need,” said Executive Director Christie Larson. “We are eager to share a new name and logo – one that both celebrates where we came from and defines a path to lead us into the next phase of our growth."
While the organization’s focus remains on assisting victims of domestic violence in Scott and Carver counties, Larson said the new name and brand showcase SVA’s cultural responsiveness, diversity and inclusion. SVA is meeting the needs of the increasingly diverse populations of Scott and Carver counties by developing culturally responsive outreach and service strategies to better serve more men and members of the LGBTQIA community; children and elders; Latinx, Somali and Asian immigrants; Native women; seniors, and anyone else in their region who needs assistance in living a violence-free life.
“We believe our image and brand should reflect the innovative and thoughtful approach we take to helping others, and now it does,” said Larson.
Domestic violence can affect anyone, no matter their age, economic status, gender or sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, or cultural or religious identity. A current or former intimate partner of the victim may perpetrate multiple types of violence, including physical or sexual assault, stalking, emotional abuse and psychological aggression.
Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women was founded in 1982 by Maxine Kruschke and offers support to victims of domestic violence and their children in Scott and Carver counties. Since its creation, the organization has grown its services, programs, advocacy and support and has assisted over 20,000 victims and children on their journey for a violence free, healthy family life.
Larson thanked Tiffany Winter and Cooks Bay Marketing for their work on the rebranding. She also thanked the donors, volunteers, participants and staff who were involved with the annual Jeans and Gems Gala. “We couldn’t do it without you!” she added.
Anyone interested in learning more about SVA’s programs or volunteer opportunities, can call (952) 873-4214 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.