FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
CONTACT: Reza Clifton, RICADV: (401) 467-9940, Cell: (401) 497-5246
The event includes a "Bike Run" as well as food, music, and an address by Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence Executive Director, Deborah DeBare
Pascoag, RI - Family, friends and co-workers of the recently deceased North Smithfield woman, Patricia Gurka, may still be mourning, but they are also busy. That is because they are organizing a Bike Run Memorial and community event to raise awareness and offer suggestions for preventing domestic violence.
The Bike Run Memorial for Patty Gurka is scheduled for Saturday, September 15. The event starts at 10:00 am at Eleanor Slater Hospital, Zambarano Unit (also called Zambarano Hospital and formerly known as Zambarano Memorial Hospital), 2090 Wallum Lake Road, Pascoag, RI. Kickstands "go up" at 10:30 AM with riders and drivers expected to return to the hospital by 12 noon for food, music, giveaways and a speaking program that includes Deborah DeBare, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Community members who ride a motorcycle or take a car will be asked to contribute $20 per car/bike, and they, in turn, will receive a T-shirt. Proceeds raised at the event will go to the RICADV, an organization working to end domestic violence in RI through its work with six local domestic violence agencies. These six agencies – Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, the Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center, the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County, the Women's Resource Center, Sojourner House, and Women's Center of RI –provide a wide array of services, including 24 hour hotline support, safety plans for those leaving, emergency shelter, support groups and assistance with the legal system.
Patricia Gurka, who died from injuries sustained in an August 11 car accident, was dating Robert P. Grenier, who was said to be driving the car. Grenier, who is facing charges related to vehicular homicide and driving under the influence, has a criminal record that includes domestic violence charges and convictions, and family and co-workers have stated that Grenier was also abusing Gurka.