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Amberly’s Place kicks off Week in Paradise fundraiser

Amberly’s Place is once again holding its largest fundraiser of the year. For $10 a ticket, supporters might win exotic vacations or nice prize packages as part of the Week in Paradise fundraiser.

All the money raised goes to the family advocacy center, the only one in Yuma County with a crisis team to assist abuse victims.

As in previous years, prizes include exciting vacations to Hawaii, San Diego and Las Vegas, but there are also some new packages, such as a hotel stay, spending money and tickets to an Arizona Cardinals home game.

The Knott’s Berry Farm package doesn’t just include tickets; it has four Gold Passes, which means the winners can go to the theme park all year long.

In past years, winners have sent photos and letters expressing how much fun they had on their vacations or excursions, and sometimes it’s been their first time to Disneyland or SeaWorld, said Diane Umphress, executive director.

This year’s drawing will start at 6 p.m. June 28 at Harkins Theatres. The ticket is also good for a screening of the movie “The Incredibles 2” that same evening.

“It’s just a fun night. There’s a lot of excitement,” Umphress said. “Some people go only for the drawings, others stay for the movie.”

Aside from the big prizes, door prizes will be handed out on the night of the drawing. Tickets for door prizes are $1 a ticket or six tickets for $5.

“There are a lot of door prizes, and they all have a value of at least $25. Chances are you’ll walk away with something,” Umphress said.

Harkins Theatres will donate the 412-seat theater for the movie screening. Sponsors cover the costs of all 10 prize packages and door prizes, and 100 percent of the money raised goes to Amberly’s Place.

The money allows the center to help abuse victims with expenses not covered by grants and other funding. For example, victims of domestic violence often don’t want to leave home because that’s where they’re comfortable. But they might need to change the locks or replace broken windows and doors. Through these funds, Amberly’s Place can cover these expenses.

“We want to make it possible for them to stay, and it’s possible through this fundraiser,” Umphress noted.

Young victims have expenses too. Last month, the center helped 113 kids. Sometimes they need help paying for therapy or school supplies. Families might not be able to afford the copay for their kids’ allergy or asthma medications.

Some kids need school uniforms and some families can’t afford the extra $12 to pay for the school logo.

“No two families have the same exact needs,” Umphress said.

She is grateful that the community supports the Week in Paradise fundraiser year after year.

“This community involvement is why we’re so successful. There are advocacy centers that do the same thing across the United States, but what stands out in Yuma is the community support. I really believe it’s the community support,” she said.

As an example, she notes that last week “an amazing 16-year-old young man” donated $200 he saved while working as a dishwasher. She pointed to eighth-graders that donate blankets and sock monkeys, quilting groups that make and give the center quilts and other organizations that donate food and snacks.

This community involvement sends a message to young victims that their peers do care about them, Umphress said.

“It’s part of the healing process. Somebody out there cares about me. What we’re trying to do is deal with a crisis and empowering them to move forward with their life. They have options and they can stand on their own.”

Tickets for the drawings are available online at

The drawing will air live on KYMA, and the center will call winners that night to let them know they won. A list of the winners will be published in the Yuma Sun the next day.

For help, call the 24-hour helpline at (928) 373-0849.

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