A Palmerton goodwill organization has helped raise money for victims of domestic violence.
The Claddagh Keepers giving circle recently held a "Back to the 80s" benefit dance for the Domestic Violence Service Center.
Held at the West End Saloon, the event was in memory of Erin Pindris of Jim Thorpe, who was a victim of severe domestic violence. Erin's mother and sister, Shannon, attended the event.
Shannon told the group she was so happy to be a part of the event. Coincidentally, her mother is from Ireland, and knows all about the Claddagh symbol, which means Love, Loyalty, and Friendship.
She also said she buried her sister with her Claddagh ring, and that the date of the benefit happened to be Erin's only son, Deaglan's, birthday, who was young at the time of his mother's death.
Cindy Gasper, vice president, Claddagh Keepers, said "all this seemed to make the event more meaningful to our club."
Amy Lalik, treasurer of Claddagh Keepers, said the donations for the Domestic Violence Center totaled over $750, with more still arriving; many of them given anonymously, just out of the goodness of people's hearts.
Devon Fripz, Carbon County Counselor Legal Advocate, Domestic Violence Service Center, said the agency was "overwhelmed with the abundance of monetary donations they provided for our agency."
That included clothing, personal hygiene products, and more, said Fripz, who added "everything was put to good use; it was just wonderful of them to think of us."
"The clients couldn't be happier, and we really want to thank them for thinking of our agency and holding the benefit on our behalf," Fripz said. "It was very generous of them."
Fripz said those in need domestic violence counseling or services may contact 1-800-424-5600. The call is free, and information is kept confidential.
Gasper said Claddagh Keepers would like to thank all who came out and supported this event, with a special thanks to Assistant District Attorney, Seth Miller, a good friend of Erin Pindris, who collected donations at Attorney William Schwab's office.
While the group did not solicit businesses for donations, after hearing of the event, Gasper said several businesses were kind enough to donate gift certificates for prizes.
Those businesses include Shoenberger's Meat Market; Intwined Beauty Salon (Heather Ahner); Yogurt City; The Flower Patch; and Lynn Shupp Photography.
Gasper also wanted to extend a huge thanks to Derrick Drey, manager/chef of West End Saloon, for the entertainment, and the hosting site for the event.
She said "as with our past events, this was very successful in achieving our goal, which is to create fun events that benefit a struggling small local charity or cause."
Gasper said the group will host an event in June at Beltzville Bar & Grill for a young cancer victim, and added that the group is growing.
Anyone who would like to join Claddagh Keepers should attend the West End Saloon, where they meet every third Thursday at 8 p.m.
The group focuses on everyone working together and getting along for the good of the cause; adhering to the Claddagh meaning.
Those who would like to join may do so on Facebook under Claddagh Keepers.