Shield of Athena is aiming to fulfill a $1 million fundraising goal

More room needed at women’s shelter, says executive director Melpa Kamateros

Shield of Athena, which supports victims of conjugal violence in the Montreal and Laval regions, met part of its annual fundraising goal through a membership drive dinner and standup comedy event held at the Table 51 restaurant in Montreal on the evening of June 6.

The well-attended evening spotlighted the organization’s ongoing dedication to victims of conjugal violence as well as Shield of Athena’s support for many communities in Quebec.

The sit-down dinner portion of the event was MC’d by Montreal radio host Eramelinda Bocquer, a Shield of Athena governing board member.

A night of comedy

It also featured excellent food and live music, followed by stand-up routines performed by comedians from GiggleFest Montreal. Among the evening’s special guests was Greek Consul General in Montreal Katerina Varvarigou.

“We are raising funds for our shelter for women and children which has been open since 2004,” Shield of Athena executive director Melpa Kamateros said in an interview with Newsfirst Multimedia. She said they recently had to increase the number of available shelter spaces from nine to sixteen as a result of the Covid pandemic, adding to costs.

The fundraiser was part of Shield of Athena’s continuing efforts to raise up to $1 million this year through a series of special events. All proceeds from the June 6 “soirée” are going towards Athena’s House, Shield of Athena’s principal shelter for women and children.

Answering a need

A partial list of sponsors included Pat Tsatoumas from Direct Travel, Charisma Realty, Schwartz, the Hellenic Board of Trade, and Montreal Knights in partnership with NSA Laval.

Among the guests was Greek Consul General in Montreal Katerina Varvarigou. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

“We need to expand so as to respond to the increased needs for shelter by victims of conjugal violence,” said Kamateros. By meeting the $1 million fundraising goal, the emergency shelter will continue to serve those in need, she added.

Shield of Athena’s offices, located in Laval and Montreal, offer multilingual services by professional social workers, trained cultural intermediaries and supervised law students.

The shelter, Athena’s House, provides emergency housing to women and their children 24/7, in a safe and empowering environment. And across Montreal and Laval, Shield’s community outreach program provides information to men and women in their own languages.

More donations needed

Tickets for the membership drive dinner – which were priced at $175 per person – were available online through the Zeffy events website. A charitable receipt for a portion of the cost is being issued to contributors. And, of course, additional donations to support Shield of Athena’s ongoing mission are still being accepted with much gratitude and appreciation.

All proceeds from the June 6 ‘soirée’ are going towards Athena’s House

Shield of Athena was founded in 1991 to provide the Greek community, and particularly women, with information through a family and public awareness campaign aimed at the community and victims, in their language of origin. This approach demonstrated its potential for other communities. As a result, Shield now provides services in 16 languages.

A place away from threats

Shield of Athena says that through its extensive network, last year 1,229 clients were helped at the organization’s Montreal and Laval centers. In addition, 100 women and children of different ethnic and religious backgrounds found refuge at Athena’s House, “a place of solace away from often life-threatening situations.”

At $175 per guest, Shield of Athena’s fundraiser at Table 51 in Montreal on June 6 helped the women’s shelter reach its $1 million goal for this year. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

The Shield’s Community Outreach Department also connects with tens of thousands via its information sessions, television and radio interviews, as well as print and digital articles on family violence.

They are asking for continued support from those willing to buy tickets to future events, or one of Shield of Athena’s fundraising cookbooks, or by purchasing a painting on their Shopify Site, or through a donation to Shield’s annual membership campaign.