Article & Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media (see photo gallery below)
Who knew golfing could be so much fun. More than 100 golfers were up at the crack of dawn ready to have some fun while supporting a great organization. It was the 9th Annual Latina SafeHouse “La Fuerza” Golf Tournament. Money raised will help Latina SafeHouse provide counseling, emergency services, transportation, housing, clothing and food to Latina Spanish speaking women who are victims of domestic abuse.
Gina Del Castillo, Executive Director for Latina SafeHouse told Latin Life Denver Media that the focus of Latina SafeHouse is to support Spanish speaking women victims of domestic violence. Our focus is to “provide services to women who are seeking resources to help them have healthy relationships again and to be able to begin healing process for her and her family”. Del Castillo also said one of the key things that makes Latina SafeHouse different from other women’s shelters is “we respect and understand the culture”. “the staff at Latina SafeHouse incorporates the strength of their culture with an understanding that it is a significant part of their healing,” adding, “we eliminate the financial burden of receiving assistance, as there is no cost for women receiving our services.”
Danita Vigil, Board Secretary for Latina SafeHouse tried unsuccessfully hold back tears as one of the sponsors got up to address the crowd during the silent auction. “I am not contributing just to win an item, these women and their children need all of our help.
What the Latina SafeHouse organization does for these women is truly amazing. Latina women are traumatized through the violence and believe that what is happening in their lives will continue to happen; but the staff of Latin SafeHouse says “no, it does not have to happen anymore.”
Board Chair, Laura Morales, addressed the audience to say that the women that come to Latina Safehouse are in very difficult situations. “We will pay for hotel rooms and provide food and transportation for them and their children in emergency situations” Additionally, we will help them with counseling and support their decision to move forward.” she said.
Timi Aguilar, said she has helped support the Latina SafeHouse board for the last six years. “This is a safe haven where they can feel really secure”. She went on to say, When I hear their stories it is heartbreaking so I am grateful there is an organization where these women can go to for solutions and not feel lost or abandoned. Aguilar also emphasized that domestic violence does not have any particular face. “Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence,” she said and “one never knows who is in need of help.”
Gene Lucero called the tournament the best of the season. “Anytime you have 100 golfers you know you have a great tournament. It’s a great course in great condition with the greens being adventurous at times. “Lucero who has supported the fundraiser for the past five years said, ”When you hear the stories of victims of abuse that Latina SafeHouse works with you and you are left with feelings of Wow. In this #MeToo environment you realize that this is beyond sexual harassment this is physical abuse and that is a lot worse,” he said.
James Sanchez played the course with his best friends for the second year in a row saying “the course is meaner now than it has ever been. Sanchez said he was more than happy to support the event. It’s awesome, you get have fun while helping women who really need the support plus you always meet some true characters at this place,” he said laughingly.
The day-long event featured a hardy breakfast, a delicious lunch, lots of silent and live auction items. Luis Canela, Sports Anchor for Telemundo Denver served as host and auctioneer Jim Berz of Wow Events provided lots of excitement to the festivities.
Among the sponsors for the Latina SafeHouse Charity Golf Tournament were The Colorado Rockies Baseball Team, Sisters of Saint Francis, Tiley Roofing, Inc, Airport Hospitality Services, LLC, First Bank, Independence House, Mike Munden, Nexus Staffing Solutions, Pro 1.
Congratulations to Executive Director Gina Del Castillo, the board of directors, Virginia Ortiz, committee chair and the 30 volunteers on a very well organized and successful event. Latin Life Denver was honored to serve as a media sponsor.
To DONATE to Latin SafeHouse Visit: www.latinasafehouse.org
Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media