Village Tavern to host fundraiser for Women’s Center Sept. 18

The Village Tavern on Main Street will host a fundraiser to benefit the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury Monday, Sept. 18. Organizers told The Press that 100% of the day’s sales will go to benefit the Women’s Center, a nonprofit which provides prevention and intervention services for families and victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

The fundraiser will run all day through the Tavern’s normal Monday hours of 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Reservations are available.

Bruno Difabio, one of the owners of The Tavern, said he wanted to get involved with the Center to help end bullying.

“The Women’s Center’s modus operandi is about ending violence, whether it’s towards kids, or women, or men,” he said.

Difabio recalled that he attended a gala hosted by the Women’s Center two years ago, and was deeply moved by the night’s speaker.

“It made me look back on my life, and really struck a chord with me,” Difabio said. He added a personal reason for the fundraiser — he said he had witnessed domestic violence in his own life.

Kathy Graham, a volunteer at the Women’s Center who sits on the organization’s advisory council, introduced the idea of running a fundraiser at the Tavern.

Tavern background

The Village Tavern opened earlier this year at 378 Main Street, in the busy downtown business district, near town hall. Co-owned by Bruno Difabio, Joe Chelednik, and Executive Chef Germano Minin. 

Difabio, an award-winning pizza chef, and Minin were previously featured on an episode of the Food Network show Chopped — Difabio as a judge, and Minin as a contestant.

The Tavern stands out on Main Street, where its distinctive outdoor seating arrangement of steel chairs — painted an eye-catching shade of bright red — are hard to miss amidst the busy sidewalks of the historic district.

The Tavern opened at the former location of The Dog and Pony, which held the location for only a year before closing abruptly in August of last year. Prior to that, the address had hosted Bissell House, which closed in June of 2015.

Women’s Center

Special Events Manager for the Women’s Center Kelly Parker, said that she is “extremely grateful” for the fundraising efforts hosted by The Tavern.

“As a non-profit organization, we self-generate more than 50% of our yearly operating budget and events like this make a real financial impact;” Parker told The Press.

“We are always looking for community partners who help us raise funds to support our mission to end the violence.”  

On its website’s donation page, the center explains that even $25 can help provide HART bus passes, or gift cards for food, to those in crisis.

Founded in 1975 at the height of the Women’s Movement, the Women’s Center was intended to be a place “where women could gather and explore ways to improve their lives,” states the organization on its website.  

“The Women’s Center quickly evolved and broadened its mission as volunteers realized the depth and breadth of the community needs – in particular displaced homemakers and victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.”

From there, the organization branched out to become “the multi-faceted social services agency that it is today.”

For victims who might otherwise face an unsafe home, the Center maintains a 13-bed shelter for women and children (a separate living arrangement is available for adult men fleeing abuse).

Philanthropy

Difabio told The Press that the fundraiser is something of a challenge to other local businesses to get involved.

“We’re giving 100% of sales, whereas most businesses give 10 or 20%, or the proceeds,” he explained.

“Every dollar that’s spent at the restaurant is going to the Women’s Center,” he said. “When you do something like that it takes a little longer for you to recover, but that’s okay. You have to give.”

Difabio said that he knew businesses tended to tighten their purse strings in bad economies, but he insisted that those are the times nonprofit organizations like the Women’s Center need donations the most.

“When you give, it’s gotta hurt,” he said.

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