A portion of ticket proceeds from Dan’s Corona MonTaco and Dan’s ClambakeMTK on July 7 and 8 at Gurney’s Montauk will go to benefit The Retreat in East Hampton, which provides safety, shelter and support for victims of domestic abuse and works to break the cycle of family violence.
The Retreat was established in 1987 and offers a variety of programs such as counseling, advocacy, a 24-hour bilingual hotline, prevention education, a Teen Leadership Program and a Fatherhood Initiative to help struggling fathers and reduce risk factors for domestic violence. The Retreat’s shelter, Stephanie House, offers domestic violence victims a safe place to stay.
“The Retreat provides a full array of services to victims and the community,” says Loretta Davis, the organization’s executive director. “These services are important because 1 in 3 women (and 1 in 4 men) here experience abuse by an intimate partner during their lives.”
Davis says that no other organization on the East End commits its core services to preventing and addressing domestic violence and promoting the wellness of children and adults who have survived or are fleeing abuse.
The Retreat’s main hub is in East Hampton, but it has offices in Riverhead, Southampton, and Hauppauge. The Retreat’s thrift store, The Retreat Boutique, is in Bridgehampton and the revenue from the store helps fund the organization.
These funds ensure that The Retreat can offer all its services free of charge. “Although domestic violence affects so many individuals, regardless of economic status, gender, race or religion, many of those who access our hotline, shelter, advocacy and counseling don’t have the resources or flexibility to seek help elsewhere,” Davis says. “Our services are free, and they are here. There’s no substitute.”
The money raised for The Retreat from MonTaco and ClambakeMTK will go toward expanding the curriculum of The Retreat’s preventative education programs in schools, Davis says. The two main issues their in-school program will address are the “escalation of bullying and cyber-bullying, and teaching young people early how to identify healthy versus unhealthy relationship behavior, including controlling behavior in dating relationships,” Davis says. “As students learn about warning signs, boundaries, consent and plans-of-action and resources they can turn to when they experience or witness bullying or unhealthy relationship behavior, these students are more likely to remain safe and self-aware, while reducing their risk for involvement with future domestic violence situations.”
While continuing to provide its core services, Davis says The Retreat is in the process of increasing funding for three of its newer initiatives to expand its reach. The first is increasing the scope of its pro bono legal counsel program. “To meet clients’ needs,” Davis says, “we are seeking expanded partnerships with local law firms. Many individuals escaping violence require legal assistance with custody, divorce, protective measures and immigration issues—all of which affect their safety and ability to remain free from abuse. Representation in court is critical.”
The Retreat also seeks to expand its counseling to children affected by domestic violence. “This year, we have expanded our evening hours in counseling so we can accommodate more kids after school hours,” Davis says. “This has resulted in an astounding increase—approximately tripling—of the number of youth we counsel. We would like to continue these extended hours, if we can secure funding.”
Finally, Davis says Take Charge!, The Retreat’s financial empowerment program, which was previously only open to shelter residents, is now open to non-residential clients. “This program helps individuals avoid and/or overcome the effects of financial abuse, which often leaves abuse victims with no resources of their own and lacking confidence,” Davis says. “Take Charge! teaches skills in budgeting, credit management, résumé writing, mock interviewing and job seeking.”
What has made The Retreat successful for 30 years, Davis says, is the East End community that has always been willing to help victims. “We are so fortunate to have a community here on the East End that’s sincerely and deeply interested in helping those in distress, at any given time. The Retreat was born from this community.”
“It’s a beautiful moment when we make a difference in the lives of our survivors,” Davis says. “I love to see how our clients begin a new life with a new job and housing—a new life without violence. The donations from Dan’s Papers enables this to happen for more children and adults.”
The Retreat is based at 13 Goodfriend Drive, East Hampton. Their thrift store, The Retreat Boutique, is located at 2102 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton. For more information about programs and services, call 631-329-4398 or visit theretreat.org.
Find the latest info on all of Dan’s Taste of Summer events remaining this summer—the new Dan’s Corona MonTaco presented by Don Julio (July 7) at Gurney’s Montauk hosted by Adam Richman, Travel Channel host, author, food & travel explorer; Dan’s ClambakeMTK (July 8) at Gurney’s Montauk hosted by Geoffrey and Margaret Zakarian—Geoffrey Zakarian is a star of Food Network’s Chopped, The Kitchen, Cooks vs. Cons, co-author of My Perfect Pantry, restaurateur behind The Lambs Club, The National in NYC, The National in Greenwich, Georgie and The Garden Bar at Montage Beverly Hills, Point Royal and Counter Point at The Diplomat Beach Resort and The Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City and co-creator of Pro For Home food storage container system. Margaret Zakarian is President of Zakarian Hospitality, co-author of My Perfect Pantry and co-creator of Pro For Home food storage container system; Dan’s GrillHampton presented by Pat LaFrieda (July 21) hosted by Robert Irvine, celebrity chef, entrepreneur, philanthropist, founder of the Robert Irvine Foundation and chef/owner of Robert Irvine’s Public House at the Tropicana Las Vegas; and Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Co. (July 22) hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli chef/owner of Butter, Judge on Food Network’s Chopped, author of Old School Comfort Food and soon-to-be released cookbook The Home Cook—at DansTasteofSummer.com. Follow Dans Taste of Summer on Facebook, on Twitter @DansTOS17 and Instagram @DansTasteofSummer. Event Hashtags: #DansTOS, #MonTaco, #ClambakeMTK, #GrillHampton and #TasteofTwoForks.