Michelle Knight Event - A Magical Evening!

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In Support of Domestic Violence and Abuse Issues Faced by Victims and their Families in Lake County

A sold out crowd of nearly 400 attendees joined us for 
dinner and an evening with Michelle Knight during Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at LaMalfa in Mentor. Our goal in hosting the event was to shed a spotlight on domestic violence and abuse issues faced by victims and their families in Lake County. 
 Mallory Babika, Survivor and Founder of Tackle Domestic Violence described the night as, ".....by far one of the best domestic violence awareness events that I have been to."

Michael Cardamone of WKYC-TV's Live on Lakeside moderated the evening in a sit down with Michelle where she recalled moments of her time in captivity. Michelle also shared a first-hand account of the courage, strength and hope that's made her one of the most inspirational women of our time. Michelle was just a young, single mother and the first of three women abducted by Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro. She spent over ten years in captivity emerging from the worst of circumstances with a powerful inner will and desire to take back her life, rebuild, and let others know that they, too, can survive anything. Her story is one of triumph over tragedy, and Michelle captivated the audience with her compelling words, spell-binding spirit, and light-hearted sense of humor during an unforgettable evening that proved inspirational beyond words. 

Michelle's book, Finding Me, was available for purchase during the evening and Michelle graciously signed books and posed for photos with a long line of awe-inspired guests.  

The below video documenting domestic violence and abuse in Lake County was also premiered during the evening and features many community notables, survivors, counselors, and therapists with expertise and an in-depth knowledge on the issues of domestic violence and abuse in Lake County. We would like to thank Prelude Video (Mentor, OH) for contributing thier time and talent in the production of this video.


The United Way of Lake County was proud to partner with Forbes House, WomenSafe, Beacon Health, and Western Reserve Counseling Service in hopes that all those in attendance would walk away from the evening with:

  • a clear understanding of the domestic violence and abuse issues faced by victims in Lake County
  • an awareness of the resources available to assist victims of\\in our community
  • compassion in their hearts for the suffering and struggles faced by the victims, many of whom never speak up because of the shame associated with what is largely described as a hidden crime.

A "Call-of-the-Heart" immediately followed the video presentation and guests generously contributed in support of our 4 partner agencies who stopped by our offices a few weeks later giving us the pleasure of awarding these funds to them. Thanks to all who kindly opened their hearts and wallets during the evening.

Featured (\Left to Right): Spence Kline, CEO, Beacon Health; Wanda Simmons,
Executive Director, 
Forbes House; Marylin Young, Assistant Director of Community Affairs,

WomenSafe, Inc; and Mark Ruth, Executive Director, Western Reserve Counseling Services. 

Shocking Facts About Domestic Violence in Lake County:

58 People per day are affected by Domestic Violence.A full half of all police calls result from Domestic Violence.1 in 5 women are admitted to the ER for Domestic Violence related issues.

We are grateful to all who attended and supported this great event, and are thankful to our event partners and sponsors for helping us make the evening possible. We are also grateful to Micheal Cardamone for donating his time and talent to moderate the event, and to Prelude Photography (Mentor, OH) for donating their time and talent to assist us in the production of the evening's educational video.

And last but most important, we would like to thank Michelle Knight for opening her heart to us and sharing her story.

Event Partners

Event Sponsors:  The News-Herald; Carol & Greg Lieb; CT Consultants; Lakeland Community College; Ricerca Biosciences; Visiting Angels; and Advancing Women in STEM.