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Celebrating Success and Mission

In honor of our 15th Anniversary, Dawn’s Place hosted a silent art auction and reception on April 18th at the Flourtown Country Club. Over 130 guests enjoyed a “casual chic buffet” in the main ballroom during a heartwarming evening recognizing our mission to support women recovering from the trauma of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

Thanks to attendees, donors and businesses, Dawn’s Place raised over $20,000! The enthusiasm everyone involved showed made a difference, and we could not have achieved this important milestone without each of our dedicated community members.

To mark the collaboration and partnership of Dawn’s Place, Executive Director, Sister Meaghan Patterson, SSJ, presented the first ever “Founders’ Award” to community environmental advocate, Stephen J. Luxton, CEO of the Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA), and Dawn’s Place Board Member and volunteer, Mary Ellen Marzullo. The award recognizes their distinguished work on behalf of sex trafficking survivors and honors our four founders: Mary DeFusco, Esq.; Sister Kathleen Coll, SSJ; Sister Terry Shields, MSHR; and Sister Teresita Hinnegan, MMS.

Steve Luxon and the ECA partnered with Dawn’s Place in 2022 to conduct a thorough energy use and conservation evaluation to figure out how our residences could improve using gas and electricity. He worked to secure low-cost (and no-cost) solutions to have a new boiler installed and recommended weatherization upgrades to help protect our budget against rising energy costs so survivors will have a comfortable environment to live and begin the process of healing.

Mary Ellen Marzullo, is a Dawn’s Place Board Member dedicated and caring community volunteer and philanthropist. After 40 years of teaching everything from preschool to high school, both here in the US and as far away as Argentina, Hong Kong and Japan, Mary Ellen put her talents to work by giving back to the community through Dawn’s Place. She has helped countless residents of Dawn’s Place while volunteering as a GED tutor, while also being the past chair of the Fundraising committee.

The highlight of the evening was an art auction of original pieces contributed by survivors, supporters, and incarcerated individuals, emphasizing the power of art as a means of expression and healing. This unique collection will not only provide a platform for creativity but also serve as a testament to the resilience and strength of those who have overcome adversity.

We want to thank all of our volunteers including Kathleen Stiles, Fundraising Committee Chair, as well as Mary Ellen Marzullo, Liz Turner, Elly Kline, Jodi Dimitruk, Johanna Loke, Dawn Dimmerman, Sofia Presenza, Nia Turner, Nancy Link, and Angela Brown.

Finally, we want to thank each of our generous sponsors for helping make the event possible.


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