Ms. Race to benefit 180 – Event recap from the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club

A wonderful group of local female sailors enthusiastically gathered in force at the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club this past Saturday to take part in the 15th annual Ms. Race. This all women sailing regatta supports the magnificent charity, 180 Turning Lives Around, that is dedicated to protecting, advocating and supporting victims of domestic violence and rape in our community. The race certainly lived up to this year’s theme, Sailing Strong for 15 Years. The event is empowering for women who build their confidence with seamanship and teamwork and by racing on an all-women crew. This personal growth and achievement represents the transformation of women who have changed their lives with the help of 180. The race brought together teams from three local yacht clubs and represented multiple generations of sailors.

Captains and their crews gathered at the yacht club to start the race day with a delicious breakfast spread from local sponsors and an instructive Captain’s meeting. Back this year by popular demand, the seasoned J24 race captain, past AHYC Commodore and previous Ms. Race winner, Elaine Haher, coached the sailors with her illuminating sailing instructions peppered with stories from her wealth of racing experience. After the seminar, the teams cheerfully gathered to make their way to their boats and prepare for the race ahead. They were greeted by the crew of Latitude and Captain Brian Gillen on the launch pier with a requisite celebratory Blood Mary to kick off the race.

Out on the water, the ten teams racing in the event sailed up and down the Start/Finish line, in the 6 knot oscillating breeze, awaiting their turn for the Pursuit Race start. At exactly 1:00 pm the race began with Killian and followed by My Solution, CODA, Saint of Circumstance, Smokin’ J, A Good Hair Day, Magic, Vici, Cygni, and Overlap. Friends, families and guests on spectator boats participated in the fun by tracking the sailboats around the course, snapping photos, shooting video and providing the women with shouts of encouragement and cheers.

The conditions on Course 2 had mostly gentle breezes and occasional light air and fog on the horizon that made maneuvering the sailboats a challenge in the downwind leg out to the G17 buoy at the end of Sandy Hook. A mother/daughter duet from Raritan Yacht Club shared top honors in this year’s Ms. Race. Kim Sinatra on her J129, Smokin’ J, with a crew of experienced sailors crossed the finish line first followed by last year’s Ms. Race winner Ann Myer on the J-105 Magic. Third place honors went to Karen Harris and her team on her J120 Cygni in a close match and exhilarating 45 second showdown at the race finish with Overlap and Saint of Circumstance. Donna Syers on Overlap hosted 9 junior girls from the Toms River and Island Heights Yacht Clubs who were delighted to learn the ropes of sailing from the other 15 women crew members onboard.

Thanks to everyone who made the day a wonderful experience. Dick Muise along with Andrew Roberts and Sam Oncea did a phenomenal job handling the race committee boat and getting the race off to a nice start. Spectator boats captained by Jack Flannery and Bev Holcomb, Curtis Sawyer, Bob and Kay Curtiss, Susan Hillers and Tom Gardner hosted friends, family and guests who rooted for the competitors. A special thanks goes to the women who participated in this year’s race as they were all victors in their own rights!

After the race the crews convened at the club for an awards ceremony featuring music by DJ Bill Sabanski and the presentation of the trophies officiated by Ms. Race Co-chair, Eileen Campbell, with support from Dick Muise. Thanks goes to Rear Commodore Chris Stone for greeting the Ms. Race teams. The Sailors, their families, friends and other club members enjoyed light appetizers from our donors and the club’s new Chef, Jonathan Jimenez. A cake featuring the Ms. Race logo and Sailing Strong was served along with delectable homemade cookies from committee member Jean Evertsen.

The early evening event featured chance and live auctions. It was a fabulous day at the AHYC, and best of all, the event added substantially to the amount we have raised this year for the 180 organization. Lynn Lucarelli, Director of Development for 180 Turning Lives Around, supported the event fundraising with Development Manager Amanda Finn. Lynn shared her genuine thanks to the Ms. Race participants, sponsors and donors whose generosity has helped raise over $15,000 for this year’s event totaling over $155,000 for the life of the event.

Sponsors this year include Two River Community Bank as our “Platinum Event Sponsor” along with premium and event sponsors including AT&T, Construction Risk Partners, Koi Sushi and Hibachi Restaurant, Lockwood Boat Works, Miller & Gaudio, McQue Captains Agency, The Ocean is Female, Offshore Sailing School, Pettit, Tomaro Financial Group, Top Notch Audio, Withum, Zager Fuchs Agency and also the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club and 180 Turning Lives Around. The complete roster of sponsors can be seen in the Ms. Race Sponsor Guide available at the yacht club and online. A special note about AHYC club member Denise Mumm who painted the splendid commissioned cover art for this year’s sponsor guide. Her Ms. Race artwork is on display and for sale at the club with proceeds going to 180 Turning Lives Around.



Thanks goes to this year’s Ms. Race organizing committee members who worked energetically to make the race one of the best ever: Kay Curtiss, Jean Evertsen, Elaine Haher, Karen Harris, Beverly Holcomb, Janice Miller, Liz Moss, Helen Parker, LuAnn Rathemacher, Bill Sabanski, Emily Smith and Donna Syers. Thanks also goes to Sandy Levine who crewed on Cygni and did a photo and video shoot to document the Ms. Race and Karen Harris’ story. We would like to give special thanks to Aleen and Steve Colitz for their vision, support and generosity for the Ms. Race and 180 Turning Lives Around over the years that helped us reach this auspicious milestone, Sailing Strong for 15 Years. We’d also like to extend a sincere thank you to all the club members who once again donated so very generously to this year’s Ms. Race.

Marvelous photos of this year’s Ms. Race are available from our club photographer Jeff Smith at…/…/2019-AHYC-Ms-Race/. Special thanks also goes to Tom Baker for the action packed drone photos of this year’s race for your viewing pleasure here.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of our 15 years hosting the Ms. Race at the AHYC!

AHYC Ms. Race Co-Chairs
Diane Kropfl and Eileen Campbell

Citricos Charity Dinner to benefit 180

There is a saying that one should never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world because indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. This sentiment is true for Danny and Tricia Kerr, owners of Citricos on Main Street in Bradley Beach, NJ, who are hosting a charity dinner where 100% of the proceeds will benefit 180 Turning Lives Around – a Monmouth County based non-profit dedicated to empowering survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“We want to do our part to support our community and 180’s mission is important. One of our customers is a dedicated advocate for 180 and when we learned about her volunteerism and the charity’s mission, we just wanted to do something to support 180 and the families they serve.” Danny and Tricia are opening the doors to their restaurant on Sunday, October 20 from 5:00 – 7:30pm for an intimate and special dinner where all proceeds of the $100 per person ticket will support 180’s domestic violence and sexual assault programs including 180’s Safe House – a local emergency shelter and safe haven for families fleeing abuse.

Dinner guests will enjoy fine dining in the casually elegant atmosphere of Citricos Mediterranean Italian Grille. The exceptional four-course menu includes your choice of cuisine – either lobster or filet mignon, or an eggplant vegetarian option. Guests are invited to bring their own bottle of wine. Tickets are limited, and guests are encouraged to make their reservation and payment through Citricos website. Event sponsorships and donations are welcomed and will support 180’s many programs that help survivors of domestic and sexual violence have the strength and courage to turn their life around.

“When a victim in Monmouth County needs help, 180 is there in a moment’s notice to support them with care and compassion in their darkest hour. Sexual assault and domestic violence survivors can contact 180 anytime – we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with our hotlines, counseling, programs, support, advocacy and shelter if needed” said Anna Diaz-White, Executive Director, 180 Turning Lives Around. “We are grateful to Danny and Tricia for recognizing the critical role that 180 plays in our community. This event will assist us in providing funding for our many programs while also helping us to raise awareness of our mission throughout Bradley Beach and many other Monmouth County communities.”


To register follow link here:




Fundraising Event: “Tennis Classic: September 10”

Three wonderful volunteers have come together with their young adult children to help plan and co-chair this year’s Tennis Classic for 180:
Laurie Buckelew, and son Jake
Pam Salvador, and daughter Sophia
Jane Yu, and daughter Lauren
How wonderful to have families involved in sharing the mission of 180together. Please consider supporting them and 180 in our combined effort to raise funds for our many survivor programs. There are a variety of ways to participate even if you are not a tennis player – join us for lunch, become a sponsor, or underwrite someone else to play. See link below for more information and to register. Please RSVP today!

180 Turning Lives Around extends special thanks to the Spring Lake Bath and Tennis Club for generously donating the courts and other amenities so that 180 can maximize your donation to our mission. 

Jersey Girl This Saturday! August 3 – Long Branch Boardwalk

Join Split Second Racing and 180 Turning Lives Around on the Long Branch boardwalk for the Jersey Girl Triathlon, Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 6:30 A.M.! The Jersey Girl Triathlon is an all women’s race which in part benefits 180 as some participants not only participate in the event, but they also raise funds for 180’s mission too! For the many courageous women who are participating in honor of survivors and for the mission of 180, we sincerely thank you and wish you the best of luck!
Please stop by the 180 tent on Madison Avenue located next to the Great Lawn on the boardwalk and learn more about 180’s life-saving mission which empowers survivors affected by domestic and sexual violence to find the courage and strength to turn their life around. 180 Turning Lives Around extends a very special thank you to our friend and race organizer, Doug Rice and Split Second Racing for including 180 in the Jersey Girl Triathlon. Doug and Split Second Racing have been generously giving to 180 for many years through this event. Doug and Split Second Racing are previous recipients of 180’s Outstanding Community Service Award! (See picture below here.)
Thank you to Doug and his team for providing this amazing opportunity for women to take part in such a terrific day!
Please come down to the boardwalk on August 3 and join 180 as we cheer on the “Jersey Girls” in this race! We are all looking forward to a great day!

Survivor and Supporter Creative Arts at the JBJ Soul Kitchen October 16

180 Turning Lives Around is planning a unique event during October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month to help bring awareness, support and mission engagement; and we need your help.
You can help bring VOICE to the thousands of Monmouth County survivors of domestic violence whose journey has led them to 180.
  • As a survivor, you can tell us of the STRENGTH in your journey;
  • As a volunteer, you can relay the IMPORTANCE of your participation;
  • As a supporter, you can tell us WHY you choose 180;
  • As a staff member of 180 or professional in the field of domestic violence, you can relay WHY your life’s work is essential;
  • As a community member, you can tell us WHAT you hope for in the future…a future free of domestic violence.
  • TOGETHER our collective VOICES create a VISION for tomorrow.
Please consider sending us your sentiment, your expression of support or your vision for a violence-free community by emailing us at
Use the prompts above as your guide and your expression will be included (confidentially if you so choose) at our event, which will take place on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at the JBJ Soul Kitchen Red Bank, NJ.
The event is complimentary thanks to the generosity of the JBJ Soul Kitchen and we look forward to seeing you there! RSVP:

180 Workshop: “Nourishing  Mind,  Body and Spirit”

180 Turning Lives Around presents:

“Nourishing  Mind,  Body and Spirit”

An informative, free workshop for survivors of domestic and sexual violence with 180’s  Lauren Lormel, LCSW

Come join a discussion and exploration into what we are doing and might consider doing to nourish ourselves. One definition of a holistic lifestyle reads: “choosing to live your life and help heal your body, mind and spirit through natural remedies” Developing a holistic vision, with emphasis on Nutrition, this workshop will consider the interconnectedness of many aspects of our lives and how our  relationship with food might be improved.

Date:                         Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Time:                         5:30 PM—7:00 PM

Location:                 180 Turning Lives Around

                                   Hazlet, NJ 07730

RSVP:  Please call Elisse at:

(732) 264-4360 ext. 4282

Workshops have limited space.

Pre-registration required.

Survivor Survey

Dear Friends of 180,

As a member of the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, 180 Turning Lives Around is participating in a statewide sexual assault survivor survey. The survey is brief and anonymous. The purpose of the survey is to help the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault and organizations like ours, better understand and address the needs of sexual assault survivors. If you are a survivor, please consider participating.

The survey can be completed here:

To learn more about NJCASA and the survey, read the press release here:

Anna Diaz-White
Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around, Inc.

Tai Chi Chih and Meditation for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence

180 Turning Lives Around

presents a relaxing and fun workshop, offered FREE to survivors of domestic and sexual violence

Tai Chi Chih and Meditation

with Lauren Lormel, LCSW


19 simple movements, easy to learn —regardless of age, experience or physical  ability….

  • Unites the mind, body and spirit
  • Promotes balance & coordination
  • Relieves tensions & stress
  • Sustains a level of calmness
  • Improves concentration
  • Increases energy


Date: Tuesday June 4, 2019  or Tuesday June 18, 2019

Time:                         5:30 PM—7:00 PM

Location:                 180 Turning Lives Around, Hazlet, NJ

RSVP:                        Please call Call: Elisse  (732)  264-4360 ext. 4282 to find out more and reserve a spot!


Workshops have limited space so pre-registration is REQUIRED.



180 Thanks Supporters of Annual Celebration

(above: members of 180’s Board of Trustees gather in support of 180 the evening of the event)

180 Turning Lives Around held their annual fundraising event this year themed, “HavAnna Nights” in special recognition of event honoree, Anna Diaz-White, the 35 year Executive Director who is Cuban American. Funds raised will support 180’s domestic violence and sexual assault programs including 180’s Monmouth County based Safe House – an emergency shelter and safe haven for families fleeing abuse. Thanks to the philanthropy of more than 260 guests, nearly $300,000 was raised. Major sponsors of the event included: Rick and Ana Blank, Crum & Forster, The Hirar and Anna Hovnanian Foundation and Sahakian Family, New Jersey Natural Gas and the lead, Presenting Sponsor, Verizon. The fabulous Bobby Bandiera Band set the stage for an evening to remember, while the De Tierre Caliente Band added a flair of Latin inspired music during the cocktail hour under twinkling string lights at the beautiful Riverhouse, Rumson Country Club.

“When a victim in Monmouth County needs help, 180 is there in a moment’s notice to support them in their darkest hour. Sexual assault and domestic violence survivors can contact 180 anytime – we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with our hotlines, counseling, support and advocacy. 180 can be found throughout our community – in all 5 area hospital emergency rooms and all 53 police departments. We respond with care and compassion to rape survivors, and so many other victims of abuse—including domestic violence, child abuse and human trafficking.” Anna Diaz-White, Executive Director, 180 Turning Lives Around. “We are grateful for the support of our caring community and to those who sponsored our Annual Celebration. The event provides critical funds and helps to raise awareness of our mission.”

180 appreciates all donors, guests and sponsors who participated in the event. With funds raised, 180 can operate many programs which help save and change lives of countless Monmouth County residents. These programs include: 24-hour Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Hotlines, the rape care program, sexual violence counseling and court advocacy at the Family Justice Center and school outreach related to safe dates and healthy relationships as well as 180’s teen helpline based, the 2ND Floor Youth Text and Helpline.


Above: Colleagues and friends of generous event sponsor, Crum and Forster

gather with Crum and Forster President, Gary McGeddy in support of 180’s mission.



Above: Former New Jersey Senator, Joseph M. Kyrillos, Jr. (center),

Mayor Tony Perry, Middletown and Freeholder Thomas Arnone

join together at the event in support of 180’s mission.




Special thanks to Lynne Ward and The Two River Times

for covering our event and helping us bring even more awareness to our mission.









180 Turning Lives Around is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to empower survivors and families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault to find the courage and strength to turn their lives around. 180 supports this mission through 24/7 hotlines – including the 2NDFloor Youth Helpline, counseling, legal advocacy, emergency shelter and transitional housing and art, play and music therapy for children.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Like you, we believe that every child deserves a stable, loving, and nurturing home. Sadly, for children exposed to family violence and abuse, they are at an increased risk for physical abuse and other forms of child maltreatment.
During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, I would like to remind our community of the importance of 180’s Amanda’s Easel Program which supports children and families through the process of healing after experiencing, or witnessing, years of violence and abuse. The program provides art, play and music therapy that promotes healing by encouraging clients to express and understand their feelings and fears in a safe and nurturing environment. Amanda’s Easel is both an intervention and a prevention too, disrupting and/or preventing co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse. Research indicates that in an estimated 30 to 60 percent of families in which either child maltreatment or exposure to adult domestic violence is occurring, domestic violence and child abuse are also being perpetrated.
Our Amanda’s Easel Program Coordinator, Cindi Westendorf, LPC, ATR-BC, has been serving young people at 180 Turning Lives Around for over 20 years. The program’s use of evidence-based best practices helps to ensure positive outcomes. The program teaches young people about healthy and safe relationships, improves communication skills, and developmental tasks, in order to break the cycle of domestic violence and familial abuse. 180’s therapeutic interventions also focus on the adult survivor (parent) developing resilience, knowledge of child development, growth of social and emotional competencies, trauma history interventions, and other concrete supports for parents and children. We have seen hundreds of children and families rebuild their lives free of abuse and fear through our wrap-around services.
If you are in need of 180 and the Amanda’s Easel Program, please call or email us; the program is free and confidential, and we welcome you to learn more.
Anna Diaz-White
Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around, Inc.

Cindi Westendorf LPC, ATR-BC, Program Coordinator of the Amanda’s Easel Program,

has been serving 180 Turning Lives Around for over 20 years and our community is in excellent care with her thoughtful approach and best practices.

To learn more  about Amanda’s Easel, contact
Cindi Westendorf at
and visit: