Turning Point raises money for domestic abuse victims

The Turning Point held its third annual Hall of Trees on Thursday, Dec. 8, raising money and garnering awareness for its cause. The event stems from the pre-COVID Parade of Trees. Turning Point Director Bobbie Orcutt said of the change, “We found we got a bigger turnout and more community support bringing the event to a hall.”

The Turning Point is a Lincoln County-based self-help center founded by four Kemmerer women who intended to reduce family violence, sexual assault, incest and child abuse. The organization provides services to victims, offers preventive education and hopes to increase reporting about these crimes. The Turning Point presently runs two shelters in Kemmerer and Afton. The yearly Hall of Trees earnings go to this cause. “We are a 501 (c)(3) non-profit and rely heavily on fundraising,” said Orcutt. 

The event featured several raffle items, and a tree donated by Perspicacity’s Whim was auctioned after the event. One tree was decorated with purple awareness ribbons and angel wings, and a tree designed by law enforcement was adorned with dogs and the message “peace on Earth.” A third tree featured peppermint-patterned bulbs and was crowned by a festive gnome, and Perspicacity’s Whim’s tree was pink and distinctly Barbie-themed. 

Local organizations-including police, EMS, firefighters and others-paid fees to enter trees. The tree decorated by the Eagles Auxiliary included gift cards worth $600 donated to The Turning Point. Visitors viewed the trees and voted on their favorites.

The Hall of Trees had a number of featured, festive guests in attendance. Fittingly for a holiday event, Santa and Mrs. Claus were present to have photographs with children, and the Grinch made an appearance. The event raised $4,813.95 for The Turning Point. Orcutt said the money will go toward clients in Lincoln County. “On average, it can cost us $1500 to help a single client for 30 days,” said Orcutt. “We help with emergency shelter, food, clothing, transportation, gas money, rent; filing protection, sexual assault and stalking orders; and court accompaniment.”

Orcutt expects an increased need for help in the future, as the organization is still growing. “We are already seeing a rise in client numbers, and those numbers are only going to continue to rise in the next couple of years.” She asks those interested to call 307-877-6834 for additional information. “We would also like to thank everyone who donated and participated in our event this year. We couldn’t do it without your support!”