VARO Hosts Purple Gala to Benefit Individuals who Experienced Abuse


Victims Advocates Reaching Out will hold its inaugural Purple Gala to benefit individuals experiencing abuse.

PNC’s Destiny Cruz has more…

As October approaches, individuals and organizations worldwide will partake in promoting sexual violence awareness. In line with this month, in addition to its core mission, Victims Advocates Reaching Out will hold its first-ever Purple Gala to benefit VARO’s clients– concretely for essential services such as emergency shelter, food, and clothing.

For a more in-depth understanding of VARO, the non-profit organization corporation also provides services, including intervention advocacy and its 24/7 hotline to victims and families of domestic violence, sexual assault, abuse, violent crimes, and traumatic events–in addition to outreach and education about the dynamics of violence in Guam’s community.

Jon Mendiola, VARO’s Public Information Officer said, “Within its 40 years, it has provided just services and services to individuals that go through trauma–whether its physical, mental, sexual, abuse–any individual that needs just that shoulder to lean on or that ear to listen to, we’ve provided that service these past 40 years.”

According to VARO’s president Louise Borja and public information officer Jon Mendiola, an integral part of the critical work facilitated through VARO is the work of the advocates operating the 24/7 hotline, some of whom have experienced abuse themselves. Both Borja and Mendiola say that the Purple Gala aims to shine a light on the volunteers and encourages those willing to aid in VARO’s cause.

Borja said, “So that’s one of the things that we also wanna do with this gala– is also to promote the volunteers to come and help assist us because it takes a special person to be on the other side of that phone line.”

Mendiola added, “When it comes to listening to the trauma at the other side of the line, it takes someone special to be able to just listen and kind of, listen for clues or listen for things that they need to understand so that they could provide the proper service or the proper resource.”

Borja says that a special part of the plan for the night’s gala is a symbolic “un-masking” to eradicate any shame attached to abuse.

Borja further added, “We are theming it as a masquerade gala as well too.”… “We’re gonna be able to un-mask everybody during the gala, and that’s what we’re trying to do–we’re trying to unmask that desire to hide and shy away from the issues that you’re going through.”


Destiny Cruz, PNC News First.

The Purple Gala will be held on October 15th at 6 pm at the Hotel Nikko Guam. Tickets are $100 each, and individuals interested in purchasing could contact VARO at (671) 477-5552 or email VARO.PUBINFO@GMAIL.COM.


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