Last year was the first time that the Path of Hope Foundation ran its Gala Ball, honouring the incredible journey made by survivors of domestic abuse, and foundation chairman Rebecca Tolstoy hopes it will become a regular event.
‘The idea is for it to become an annual thing,’ she said. ‘Our first was last year when we had a Masquerade Ball. This year’s Cinderella theme promises to be just as stunning.’
The Path of Hope Foundation was set up in 2012 with the aim of breaking the cycle of family and domestic violence by empowering survivors and enabling them to create positive, new lives in the community.
But this is a charity event with a difference, because the night itself isn’t about raising money. ‘We don’t do any fundraising on the night,’ said Rebecca. ‘It’s all about celebrating the survivors and letting them know that we’re so proud of them for taking control of their lives. We want to make sure that we send a message out into the community where there are victims still living with domestic violence, telling them that there is still hope.’
This year’s event will see around 20 survivors attending, with donors paying for everything, including the best tables, to make sure they have a truly incredible evening.
‘We do fundraising throughout the year and behind the scenes,’ said Rebecca, ‘this way we can focus on the empowering these people and giving them hope on the night. The Cinderella theme is partly to do with that idea of going from ashes to riches, it’s a way of telling people your past does not define you.’
The Foundation itself is run by a dedicated team of volunteers, headed by Rebecca, with any money raised from the event going to the Salvation Army in order to hire more outreach workers so that they can help more survivors.
‘I might be the chairman but I would be nothing if it wasn’t for all the volunteers, the Rotary Club of Perth and the people in Perth and Western Australia supporting us,’ said Rebecca. ‘It’s thanks to those people that all of this has been possible.’
So with everything on offer on the night – fine food, good company and top-notch entertainment – what is the thing that she’s most looking forward to? ‘For me it’s about is the look on the survivors’ faces when they there and having a good time. That look is everything to me. That’s why I’m doing it.’
The Path of Hope Foundation Cinderella Gala Ball will be held on Saturday 29 July at the Crown Towers Grand Ballroom, Crown Perth from 6:30pm until midnight.
Get more information and tickets here.