GUILDERLAND: Summer social for Liza's Legacy

The Guilderland Women and Business Group (GWIB), an organization that aims to support the professional and community interests of local business people, is presenting its first summer social event this Thursday, July 12. The event, called Destinations and Libations, is a unique fundraiser being held to further the work of Liza's Legacy Inc., a local foundation that offers assistance to victims of domestic violence. GWIB hopes to make this an annual event.

The event is a reception featuring refreshments from Classe Catering and the Queen of Tarts as well as champagne and wine tastings from Colonie Liquor. Fox 23 News Anchor Ann Hughes, who has been an avid supporter of Liza's Legacy, will be a guest speaker at the event.

Liza's Legacy is a nonprofit organization based in Guilderland that offers assistance to victims of domestic violence. It was founded in memory of Liza Ellen Warner, a top hairstylist at Ania's Studio in Guilderland who was brutally murdered by her husband in October 2004.

The foundation has connections with various shelters, safe homes and resources like the New York State Coalition against Domestic Violence, the Equinox Domestic Violence Program and New York State Domestic Violence and Legal Resources. It was started not long after Liza's death by her mother, Martha Warner-Lasher, who is a strong local advocate against domestic abuse. Linda Singer of Singer's Jewelers in Guilderland, who is a close friend of the family, became very involved with the organization and is currently the president.

In October 2005, Liza's Legacy made local headline news when 31 high school students took part in a district-wide design contest through Singer's Jewelers to design a pin for the organization. A Mohonasen student's design was chosen, and the pin is now available for purchase at the store.

Within the past year, Liza's Legacy has been active in putting on events to raise local awareness. The group has staged a fashion show, a 5K walk/run, a golf tournament and a formal gala. The fundraiser that takes place on Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. is at the Appel Inn on Route 146 in Altamont, and tickets are $45 per person .

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