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Dismas House Benefit Dinner and Auction nears

RUTLAND - Rutland Dismas House will be celebrating their 23rd Annual Benefit Dinner and Auction on Sunday, June 9, at the Holiday Inn in Rutland.

Dismas will present the 2013 Jack Hickey, OP Award to Dr. Maria J. Stephan, a North Clarendon, Vt. native and Mill River Union High School graduate. Maria now works as a Lead Foreign Affairs Officer for the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations in Syria, previously being assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul Afghanistan. She has also worked for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, was an adjunct professor at Georgetown and American Universities, and has worked with the European/NATO policy office in Brussels and with civil society organizations in Sri Lanka, Russia, Israel, and Palestine.

In 2011 Maria co-authored the book, "Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Non-Violent Conflict". Due to the ideas expressed in this book of how non-violent resistance brings about political change much more effectively than the use of violence, Maria and Erica Chenoweth have won the 2013 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. This same book also won the 2012 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for best book published in the United States on government, politics or international affairs.

During the summer of 1996 during her break from Boston College, Maria lived as a student resident at the Rutland Dismas House. We are privileged to honor Maria as she has taken the heart of Dismas to an international level.

Richard Stack will be the Keynote Speaker. Richard is a Professor from the School of Communications at American University in Washington DC. His latest book, just out in April 2013, is titled "Grave Injustice: Unearthing Wrongful Executions". Previously, in his work to encourage continual dialogue to bring state-sanctioned killing to a halt, he wrote Dead Wrong: Violence, Vengeance, and the Victims of Capital Punishment. Richard will look at his work and the work of Dismas to show how works of forgiveness and second chances are better for the world in the long run.

Professor Lillian Jackson will be honored with the Mary O' Award. Lillian teaches in the Social Work Department at Castleton State College. She has supervised many of the student interns who have come to Dismas over the years. She also volunteers as our Public Relations/Media chair during our annual Dinner Auction Event every year. Lillian has been a faithful supporter of the Rutland Dismas House from the beginning days.

Cooks from The United Methodist Church will be honored with the Loving Spoonful Award. For many years a group from the church has come on the second Wednesday of every month, faithfully cooking for the residents, bringing conversation and support to the men and women living at Dismas.

The Honorary Chair for the event will be David Wolk, president of Castleton State College. David offers great auction items every year for our event and the partnership between Dismas and the students and professors of Dismas continues to be strong.
Rutland Dismas House offers transitional housing to men and women coming out of prison. Its mission is to "Reconcile prisoners with society and society with prisoners."

For tickets or information call at 802-775-5539. No tickets will be sold at the door.