Hundreds Attend Marjaree Mason Birthday Soiree

Three women were recognized as survivors of abuse with the help of the Marjaree Mason Center. (L to R): Fresno Police Department Chief Jerry Dyer, Stacie Reed, Daniela Gutierrez, Michelle Walker, and Fresno County District Attorney’s Office Lisa Smittcamp. PHOTO BY RON SUNDQUIST/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

An “Under the Sea” motif beautifully decorated the Liberty Ballroom at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District on Friday, March 22, 2019. The highly anticipated birthday soiree and fundraiser held by the Marjaree Mason Center celebrated her birthday, an annual event for the past 40 years. Members of the Mason Family were also in attendance.

Marjaree would have been 77 years old on March 15.

Guests walked into a magical setting: water effect lighting graced the ceiling, pattern projection highlighted images of sea animals and candles flickered on gold and silver tables. Attendees mingled among friends, participated in the silent auction, bought raffle tickets and enjoyed libations and hors d’oeuvres before the delicious dinner. After the program and live auction, entertainment was provided by The Killer Dueling Pianos from Temecula, Calif.

The program was emceed by Liz Harrison of ABC 30; both Police Chief Jerry Dyer and District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp spoke.

Of the Center, Dyer said, “For law enforcement, this is our go-to place. There is a tremendous need in Fresno County. In the past year, over 6,000 adults and children were served and that’s at an average cost of $119 per person, per day.”

During a year’s time in Fresno County, there are up to 7,000 domestic violence calls. “Domestic violence affects all walks of life,” said Smittcamp. “Many people who are affected never see a courtroom.”

The Center’s goal is to prevent and end the cycle of abuse through education and community outreach. Prevention programs include a 52-week Batterers Intervention Program and high school peer-led program called KNOW MORE.

“Marjaree Mason Center is grateful for the [numerous] attendees who came out to celebrate the life and legacy of Marjaree Mason,” said Charity Susnick, Director of Development and Communications. “The philanthropic support and commitment from our generous sponsors and donors have enabled the Marjaree Mason Center to be the dedicated provider of domestic violence safe housing and support services for 40 years and will help us do so into the future.
“Our annual fundraiser is a way for the community to partner with us to ensure our services continue. We have safe houses in both Fresno and Clovis and offer a 24-hour hotline at (559) 233-4357 (HELP) for anyone experiencing domestic violence.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, the 36th annual Top Ten Professional Women Awards will be held at the Fresno Convention Center. The Marjaree Mason Center and presenting sponsor CalViva Health are pleased to announce the keynote speaker will be ex-cornerback and current Executive Vice President of Football Operations at the National Football League, Troy Vincent.
“As a child who witnessed and was affected by domestic violence, Troy Vincent challenges communities to stand up to change the trajectory of rates of domestic violence through education and advocacy,” says Nicole Linder, Executive Director of the Marjaree Mason Center. “We are thrilled to have Troy come to Fresno.”

The event begins at 11 a.m. and pays tribute to 10 women who have served as role models and given back to their communities while excelling in their professions. One leading business is also honored for its support of women and women’s issues.

Tickets go on sale this July. Sponsorships are available and range from $2,000 – $15,000. This signature community event draws more than 1,400 attendees annually. For sponsorship information, contact Charity Susnick, Director of Development and Communications at (559) 487-1313 or