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Holiday Gathering helps women, children in need

Mark Greene and Cynthia Dowd Greene of Baldwinsville are graciously opening their home for the 19th annual Vera House North Holiday Gathering.

Mark and Cindy moved into their home across from Beaver Lake Nature Center in April 2005. The property had been owned by Tiz (Edith) Whalen, whom they had known for many years as she was a member of their extended family; Cindy's brother, Terry, is married to Tiz's daughter, Candy. Lily of the valley used for Cindy's wedding bouquet came from Tiz's property where their home is now located. Local specialists including Dean Johnson (design), Dave Wilson (construction) and Dave Reilley (landscaping) helped build their home.

The holiday gathering will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday Dec. 7 at Cindy and Mark's home, 8480 E. Mud Lake Road. Proceeds will benefit the services offered by Vera House North.

Named for Sister Mary Vera, Vera House North is an emergency shelter, which has been in operation since 1990 by Vera House Inc. The shelter services the northwestern portion of Onondaga County and provides assistance to victims of domestic violence.

A former resident summed up the value of the work performed at Vera House when she said, "Somebody up there guided us here, because he knew that you could help us in so many ways. Make us feel secure, loved and give us the friendship and family love that we left behind."

With the assistance of numerous caring individuals and organizations Vera House North is able to assist many women and their families who are fleeing abusive relationships. One resident said that she was "so greatly assisted by all the volunteers and staff to help me end a dependent relationship that damaged my self-esteem and independence. You've given me back my life."

The proceeds from the holiday gathering will support Vera House North's mission of helping women like the ones quoted here.

If you are interested in supporting Vera House North but unable to attend the holiday gathering, donations may be sent to Vera House Inc., 6181 Thompson Road, Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13206.

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