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Ballet Magnificat! to return in April

As spring finally arrives, we at Catholic Charities invite you to join us for our third year of Ballet Magnificat! Alpha. The enjoyment of the beginning of our springtime goes hand in hand with the enjoyment on display of the goodness of the Lord and of the victory we have in Jesus through the performance of Ballet Magnificat! Alpha.

This wonderful ballet company will be presenting their third performance in our area at 7 p.m. Friday, April 15.

The performance this year is “Deliver Us,” and will be performed at the Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center on Homochitto Street in Natchez.

Admission is $15 and tickets are on sale now.

Once again, Parkway Baptist Church will sponsor this outstanding event with all proceeds supporting the Guardian Shelter for Battered Families, a project of Catholic Charities Inc. Ballet Magnificat! is the premiere Christian ballet company in the United States, created in 1966 under the direction of Ms. Kathy Thibodeaux. This will be the first fundraiser for the Guardian Shelter this year, and we are looking forward to a sellout crowd.

The choreography, the costumes, the music, and the unbelievable ballet performance create a memorable event for all ages.

The Guardian Shelter provides a safe haven for women and children in an 11-county area in Southwest Mississippi as well as neighboring parishes of Louisiana. We are the only shelter in the area assisting women and children in an effort to maintain their family structure.

By law each Mississippi Highway Patrol District is instructed to provide a safe shelter for the victims of domestic violence. Our facility has been in operation in Adams County for 18 years.

We are equipped to provide services to 30 survivors per night, and we are at capacity most of the time.

From June 1, 2009 to July 1, 2010, we provided shelter to 68 women and 79 children in residence. Non-resident assistance to 35 women and 24 children was also provided through transportation assistance and other services.

In our second stage program, Oak Towers Supportive Housing, we served 13 women and 20 children. The Oak Towers Housing Program provides case management to domestic abuse survivors who are living independently within the community while continuing their services established while in the shelter.

In our children’s program, licensed by the State of Mississippi, we served a combined total of 117 children, served a combined total of 11,496 snack and meals and domestic violence survivors resided in our facility 2,386 nights.

While residing in the shelter facility, we provide food, clothing, counseling, educational and support groups focused on the dynamics of domestic violence as well as effective parenting, transportation, personal care supplies for women and children, referrals for legal, medical, dental, housing, educational, financial and employment services for all survivors.

As with most non-profit agencies, we at the Guardian Shelter for Battered Families continue to struggle financially to provide all services due to the decrease in funding sources.

It is our policy to provide the best possible services to all survivors, and we strive to continue this practice.

We therefore will continue to ask the communities in which we provide services to support our program throughout the year with our fundraising efforts. We hope you all will be able to be a part of this effort.

Our sincere gratitude is extended to Ms. Carolyn Ridley, Ms. Dorothy Sylvester, Mr. Robert Sylvester, Dr. Akinremi Akinwale and Ms. Beatrice Owens as they continue to offer us their support and services in presenting this program to the local community.

This group with Parkway Baptist Church continues to work with Ballet Magnificat! and bring this performance to the area, and we greatly appreciate all of their hard work.

Please contact us here at the Guardian Shelter at 601-442-0142 or Parkway Baptist Church 601-442-7434 for ticket sales or additional information regarding this outstanding community fundraising event.

Donna Miller is the director of the Guardian Shelter.

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