Debbie Norris was the keynote speaker at this year’s Handbags for Hope Luncheon and Live & Silent Auction, which benefited Beacon of Hope for Women.
BOH is a domestic violence resource center on the city’s Westside led by executive director Terry Moore. This is the sixth year for the event, which started out with 80 attendees.
“This is another sold-out event,” Moore said. “Can you believe all this started six years ago? Tickets were $5 and we had about 80 attendees.
“Last year, I challenged you to get a change jar and to save money all year because some of you got mad when the purses you wanted went to someone else,” she said. “I did that. In fact, I had three jars of change, so let the bidding wars begin.”
Moore shared news about the organization and charged them to be generous with their funds.
“We’ve had so many successes this year,” she said. “But we are tired. We need your strength, donations, and help. We also need your love and prayers.”
Moore invited domestic violence and sexual assault speaker Debbie Norris to be the keynote speaker for the event. Norris lost her daughter, Heather Norris, in 2007, when her boyfriend killed her. She was only 20-years-old at the time.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police chaplain Rick Kassel introduced Norris.
“I met Debbie on the worst night of her life,” Kassel said. “I had to notify her about her daughter. It was horrific what happened to her. Debbie is a dear lady and has made remarkable efforts in this area.”
Norris has been with the IMPD communications department for more than 20 years and part of the Baker One-Speedway Police Project with BOH. Baker One is a model program that addresses domestic violence homicide and serious assault by objectively identifying high risk victims and perpetrators with repeated police runs.