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Annual Purple Ribbon Banquet and Auction Returns

March 19th


The Purple Ribbon Banquet and Auction returns March 19, a popular annual benefit for Women’s Healing and Empowerment Network and Cleone’s Closet Food Pantry.

The free event takes place at CenterPlace Regional Event Center in Spokane Valley.

The theme of the fourth-annual banquet is “Empowered to Soar.” Guests will have the opportunity to learn about both charities and bid on a variety of gift packages at a live auction. Door prizes will also be available.

Keynote presentations will be given by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rogers and Terri Cooper, the mayor of Medical Lake. Other scheduled speakers include WHEN staff and supporters and staff, including Robert and Maria Leyva and Dimana Sofia.

Robyn Nance from KXLY-TV will return as banquet MC.

WHEN focuses on providing healing and empowerment to individuals, families, homes, and churches, schools and other organizations through faith-based education, counseling, healing centers and other support services in the areas of domestic violence, sexual abuse and related abuse.

It was founded in 2008 with a goal of providing education for long-term recovery of abuse. It includes educators, counselors, clergy, and other supportive professionals and volunteers, and focuses on collaboration with homes, schools, churches, and other community organizations.

The non-profit offers a variety of resources that work with victims and offenders of mental and physical abuse, including “Men of Compassion,” a facilitated program that empowers and educates men seeking recovery from controlling behaviors, abuse issues, and dysfunctional patterns of thinking, feeling and doing.

It also operates “Frieda’s Healing Center,” a residential program/safe place for victims of abuse. In 2022, it provided support for 21 women and 12 children.

Other WHEN programs include Youth Against Dating and Domestic Abuse, which provides scholarships to high school seniors and college students; and WHEN Fellowship, which supports Christians in Recovery. WHEN also serves as a general advocate for any victim needing support, and helps them find support in their respective communities.

WHEN also helps and promotes Cleone’s Closet Food Pantry and Resource Center, which provides regular distribution of food, gently-used clothing, furniture and housewares, to people living in and around Airway Heights.

The pantry partners with Amazon as well as Second Harvest, area grocery stores, and local farmers.

In 2022, the pantry distributed more than 238,747 pounds of food to 5,547 families and 17,435 individuals.

The Purple Ribbon Banquet helps raise money for ongoing WHEN programs. The organization hopes to expand its abuse prevention education efforts this year, including facilitating a larger number of support groups.

Though admission is free, registration is required by March 3.

For more information and to register visit

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