By Alexandra Booth
Big things are happening for Lorianne De Loreto. Her organization Visions of Hope International, which helps men and women who are domestic violence survivors, is making plans for a new fundraiser. Breaking Free: Silent No More is a fashion show that will take place on July 11 at Club Renaissance in Sun City Center.
The fashion show will be a red carpet event and showcase premier designer fashions that will be worn by survivors of domestic violence. Each model will be featured in a video. There will be a silent auction, upscale vendors, and the New Directions Orchestra. Cyndi Edwards of NBC’s Daytime will be the emcee.
Tickets are $60, which includes a meal and a Visions of Hope t-shirt, which will be given at the event. Being unfunded, Visions of Hope is looking for sponsors to donate money toward Breaking Free.
“I want to bring awareness to the community at large. Not just [about] Visions of Hope, but at the issue of domestic violence,” De Loreto said, a survivor of domestic violence herself.
One of the people that will be featured there is Franki Bernier. A survivor and veteran, Bernier experienced domestic violence from a young age and continued into adulthood. However, she is now living with nine-month-old son Liam, and is being sponsored by Project Restoration.
According to the Visions of Hope International website, Project Restoration is a program that semi-annually chooses a survivor to receive assistance and “support survivors through their personal process of restoration and empowerment”. A committee, through an application selection process, chooses one survivor based on the needs of the applicant.
Also new for Visions of Hope International is an office located on 10018 Park Place Avenue in Riverview. This office will host speaking engagements and workshops on the different programs available, such as Deaf Hope, which will reach out to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. De Loreto hopes to create a new platform.
“By coming forward with my story, I’m paying it forward so people will have the courage to come forth with their story and be able to increase self-esteem. My hope is for [everyone] to be free of the pain of domestic violence.”
Club Renaissance is located at 2121 South Pebble Beach Blvd., Sun City Center, FL. To buy a ticket for Breaking Free, go to vhinternational.eventbrite.com. For more information about Visions of Hope International, the different programs offered, and how to become a sponsor, go to vhinternational.org.