JOHN DAY - Here's a chance to enjoy an evening of Christmas music while helping out a local worthy cause.

Heart of Grant County, a domestic violence prevention and victim's assistance agency, will present a Christmas Concert fund-raiser at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at the John Day United Methodist Church.

The performers will include Janine Goodwin and Samantha Floyd, vocalists; Brianna Murphy-Johnston on violin; Markku Sario on piano; Ed Heiple on trumpet; and accompanists, Rose Combs, Laurie Armstrong and Jamie Lupien.

Drawings will be held during the program's intermission with prizes to include a floral centerpiece from A Flower Shop and More and a basket of hand-poured candles, made by Mary Ann Domeniconi, Heart of Grant County's executive director.

Admission is $5 a person or $10 a family. Tickets, which are good for the drawings, too, are available at Strawberry Mountain Graphics, Cottage Treasures and Beyond, and Prairie Drug and Hardware.

Refreshments will be served during the intermission.

According to Domeniconi, funds from the concert will directly benefit emergency services for the nonprofit organization, including transportation, food and emergency housing/motel costs.

Heart of Grant County, working in partnership with local supporters such as court and law enforcement officials, medical personnel, schools, social service agencies and volunteers, provides a range of both crisis and educational services to the community.

Some of these include a 24-hour crisis hotline, crisis counseling, referrals, emergency transportation, temporary housing, support groups, educational presentations, and advocacy for both adults and children.

Heart of Grant County's aim, Domeniconi said, is to help people feel safe and keep them that way.

"Domestic violence is all about control," she said.

"There have been 13 domestic violence deaths in the metro-Portland area in the last several weeks," Domeniconi pointed out.

She added that, although many people may not believe it, Grant County has its share of domestic violence problems, too.

"There are still people who think that it doesn't happen here," Domeniconi said.

The agency recently received several grants: $2,000 from Verizon Wireless for computer equipment; $5,000 from the Juan Young Trust for outreach; $2,000 from the Shelk Foundation for general operations; and $20,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to fund a part-time victim advocate for the agency, for an 18-month period.

To learn more about Heart of Grant County, call 541-575-4335. The 24-hour hotline number is 541-620-1342.

For information about the concert, call Peggy Murphy at 541-575-5624.

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