Day of beauty fund-raiser honors Bach, raises awareness

2013-04-04T20:08:00Z 2014-02-19T12:03:19Z Day of beauty fund-raiser honors Bach, raises awarenessContributed by By Lesly Bailey Times correspondent

VALPARAISO | Anna McDonald hopes a day of beauty will not only honor the memory of Amanda Bach but also will bring awareness to dating violence and relationship abuse.

“The main theme for this fundraiser is to educate and provide awareness to families and teenagers about the warning signs of relationship abuse and that help is available,” said McDonald, a Mary Kay director.

“Quite often, victims of abuse - especially mental and verbal - mistakenly accept the directed behavior as ‘normal’ or ‘no big deal’ because it is coming from someone they trust, maybe even someone they thought that they loved at one time.”

Dustin McCowan was recently sentenced to a near-maximum of 60 years in prison for the Sept. 16, 2011, murder of Amanda, who was his former girlfriend.

A presentation based on the “Don’t Look Away/Love is Respect” campaign will be part of the fund-raiser from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday April 20 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 505 Bullseye Lake Road.

“A main informational point of this presentation includes the discussion of an anonymous telephone hotline where victims of abuse can call and receive free advice from peers outside of their social circle. The anonymous hotline provides an avenue of hope to victims, especially teenagers, who are too embarrassed or scared to discuss their concerns with parents,” McDonald said.

The event will also include complimentary skin care sessions, a silent auction, raffle and refreshments. There is no cost for the pampering sessions but appointments need to be made by contacting McDonald at (219) 508-8790.

All proceeds from the sale of Mary Kay products and the silent auction/raffle and contributions will be donated. Half will go to the church and half will be given to Valparaiso’s The Caring Place, which provides services and shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, per the request of Sandy and Bill Bach in memory of Amanda.

McDonald said she and her husband, Eric, decided to have the fund-raiser to assist Amanda’s parents in continuing to honor their daughter as the Bachs were good friends and neighbors of Eric from 2002-06.

“Amanda and her sister spent a lot of time playing with Eric’s daughter during that time,” she said. “Needless to say, it is very hard to comprehend losing a daughter … a vibrant, beautiful young lady with such a bright future and zest for life.

“As parents, all of us are heartbroken and crushed that something this horrific could happen to somebody’s child - especially a friend’s child - and from our local community. It hit close to home because it happened to someone we knew very well, and her life was stolen from her by someone she knew, someone that she trusted.”

McDonald said as a Mary Kay director, the day of beauty event was the one way she felt she could help.

“We want to help teenagers realize that any form of abuse, mental or physical, is never OK,” she said.

Those who cannot attend, but wish to donate should contact McDonald at (219) 508-8790.

For Mary Kay's 50th anniversary, there is a limited edition compact with a Swarovski crystal that is at the center of the “Love is Respect/Don’t Look Away” campaign with $1 from the sale of each compact going to help fund it.

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