OUR MISSION TO COMBAT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is as vitally important today as it was in 1993. For more than two and a half decades, Knock Out Abuse has raised more than $11million to provide transformational support to more than 30,000 women and children whose lives have been shattered by abuse, poverty, and homelessness. Proceeds from the Gala go directly to organizations which offer counseling, long and short-term housing, legal assistance, financial education, job training, and the necessary resources to realize a new beginning for these deserving families.
KNOCK OUT ABUSE is a Washington, DC-based organization that envisions a community free from domestic violence. Knock Out Abuse leverages its extensive network of corporate, retail, and philanthropic partners to strengthen and support organizations that serve women and children who are survivors of domestic violence in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Our organization works with its passionate supporters to bring attention to the devastating effect of domestic violence on its victims, their families, and our community.
For more than two and a half decades, Knock Out Abuse has raised more than $11 million to provide transformational support to more than 30,000 women and children whose lives have been shattered by abuse, poverty, and homelessness. Through our direct service providers, Bethany House of Northern Virginia, Safe Shores, Crossway Community, The DC Volunteer Lawyer Project, The Anchor Fund, and Room to Rebloom, these women and children receive counseling, long and short-term housing, legal assistance, and the necessary resources to help them live healthier and more successful lives.
Each year, we bring together more than 650 committed and influential supporters for one evening to celebrate beneficiaries and their steadfast work to eradicate domestic violence in the community. It is with a strategic vision and goal that we strive to raise $1 million for our 27th Anniversary Gala. We are committed to creating a future with zero tolerance for domestic violence.
CO-FOUNDERS In 1993, Jill and Cheryl founded Knock Out Abuse Against Women. It was a commitment to help woman and children who are survivors of domestic abuse in the Washington, DC metro area. It began with a small fundraising dinner of 35 women who wrote checks and passed around a hat to restaurant patrons. The end of the evening proceeds raised close to $8,000 and was donated to a local shelter. Knock Out Abuse has since grown to encompass two shelters, a long-term housing complex and numerous support services devoted to overcoming the many obstacles survivors face moving forward, such as legal assistance, education, and counseling. In 2018, the 25th Anniversary Gala raised $1 million for the cause!
Jill Sorensen relocated to Los Angeles several years ago and formed the west coast sister organization, KNOCK OUT ABUSE WEST. Within a very short time, Jill has created a vibrant community of LA citizens who are committed to helping end domestic violence and support survivors of abuse.
Meet The Team
Cheryl Davis Masri
Cheryl has a professional background in advertising and graphic design. She worked for numerous agencies and was a director of the creative teams designing award-winning corporate logos and image campaigns representing a wide range of national and international clients.
Cheryl Masri enjoys adventurous travel, indie films, and her role as "Auntie Mame" to her two beloved nieces and granddaughter. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Hani, sharing a mutual passion for innovative programs focused on women and children.
& AUCTION CO-CHAIR
Ellen Blankenstein Spiegel
GRAPHIC DESIGN COORDINATOR
2020 YOUNG PROFESSIONALS COMMITTEE
The mission of The Young Professionals Committee is to provide support for the Knock Out Abuse (KOA) organization. Members will assist in achieving annual fundraising goals and increase awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence in our society. This committee is intended to foster leadership, team building and create community service projects benefiting women and children survivors of domestic abuse.
Ashley Arias | Courtney Atwater | Melissa Davis | Sophie Delquié | Helen Gaynor | Valerie Gudino | Samantha Levitts | Lili Lowell
| Becca Marchant | Katie McCracken | Jenna Meza | Ashley Pinger | Lyndee Rose | Alyssa Young
RECENT GALA CHAIRS
& Aba Kwawu
& Sara O’Keefe
& Norma Ramsey
Cynthia Steele Vance
& Jayne Sandman
Dr. Rondi K. Walker
SINCE 1979, BETHANY HOUSE OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA has provided a compassionate response for women and children suffering the nightmare of domestic violence by providing housing, help, healing and hope.
Bethany House has several large homes in Fairfax County that provide a nurturing environment for women and their children. They offer intense psychological counseling to survivors helping them to recover from deep emotional trauma and gain life-skills needed for independent living.
SAFE SHORES - The D.C. Children’s Advocacy Center is a direct service, nonprofit organization, dedicated to supporting and working directly with child victims of sexual and physical abuse. At its child-friendly facility, Safe Shores coordinates the work of medical and mental health providers, social services professionals, victim advocates, law enforcement, and prosecution officials to reduce trauma and promote healing for these victimized children.
The Safe Shores complex in Northwest DC is designed to provide a warm and welcoming environment where children and adolescents can feel safe and supported while waiting for forensic interviews, therapy, court appearances, or placement resolutions.
THE ANCHOR FUND Since its inception in 2014, The Anchor Fund has made over 700 individual grants to women and their children totaling nearly $300,000. These vital grants can determine whether a survivor can escape her abuser, find a safe haven or provide for her children.
CROSSWAY MONTESSORI COMMUNITIES Crossway Montessori Communities utilizes an innovative educational program designed and cultivated to foster peace and empowerment. Crossway Community bridges generations, enabling individuals and families to thrive in this apartment complex located in Kensington, MD. Beyond age, race, and socioeconomic background, the Montessori philosophy informs every element of their intergenerational approach to supporting healthy families and building strong communities.
In addition, there is a Montessori School within the complex and every young child who lives here is given the opportunity for an extraordinary education.
THE DC VOLUNTEER LAWYERS PROJECT was founded in 2008 to create, support, and utilize a network of volunteer lawyers to provide high-quality, pro-bono legal services to domestic violence victims and at-risk children in Washington, DC.
Today, the DC Volunteer Lawyers provides thousands of hours of legal assistance to the survivors of abuse. Their dedicated volunteer and staff attorneys handle protection orders and family law cases on behalf of the “voiceless” and serve as court-appointed advocates for vulnerable children living with abuse, neglect and other difficult circumstances.
ROOM TO REBLOOM The mission of Room to Rebloom is to empower low income women in families in the National Capital Area who have been victims of domestic violence by providing them with design services and other resources needed to create beautiful home environments and to help rebuild their lives.