FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – There’s no place like home. The YWCA of Northeast Indiana is using that phrase slightly modified and the movie it’s from, to raise money for its domestic violence programs. The “Y”‘s Circle of Women fundraiser has gone virtual this year because of COVID-19. “We are filming our virtual fundraiser for Circle,” said Circle Co-Chair Dottie Davis. “And we are actually doing a story not just a silent auction to raise funds. We’re taking a story that most people are familiar with that also fits the domestic violence theme.”
The message the YWCA fundraiser is pushing is there’s no place like a safe home. Just like in the Wizard of Oz movie, the virtual fundraiser starts with a major weather event and WANE 15 helps set the stage. “We begin our story with a tornado,” said Terra Brantley as she was being filmed in a scene. “But this tornado represents the chaos in a home when domestic violence rips it apart. Our Dorothy lives in one of these homes, then she meets some magical characters who help her find a different path.”
The YMCA’s Circle fundraiser was shot at Memorial Coliseum using green screen technology, similar to what WANE 15 uses in the Live Doppler 15 Fury Weather Center. Everyone in the program will have a virtual background from the Wizard of Oz behind them as they follow a modified story line. The virtual program will illustrate Dorothy’s escape from domestic violence while asking donors to fund programs that help those in our community do the same.
“It’s a fun way to do a serious topic. We thought about that because we certainly do not make light of the services we provide,” said YWCA CEO Paula Hughes-Schuh. “Domestic violence is a very serious issue in our community but we also wanted to make the point that there are similarities, such as the chaos in a tornado. The Wizard of Oz made sense.”
With all the scenes now shot, this Over the rainbow fundraiser will go virtual October 22, 2020. The goal is to raise $120,000. Organizers say 100 percent of the event’s registration fee goes towards its domestic violence programs. Click here for more information on the YWCA Circle fundraiser.