Dedication ceremony honors domestic violence shooting victim

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Greater Wilmington Tennis Association and Holly Tree Racquet and Swim Club held a dedication ceremony Friday to honor domestic violence victim, MaryAnn Breault. The event was held at the site of her death; which was a tragic murder-suicide that happened in December 2021.

Attendees wore purple to show support of domestic violence awareness. A new bench installed at the club in Breault’s memory was unveiled by her daughter, who memorialized Breault as a “loving mother, bright light, and warrior woman.”

Speakers at the ceremony included her daughter, Rachel Knowles, and several others from the community, including Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, who spoke about the power of a community coming together through tragedy.

Knowles thanked the community for their support, those who handled the emergency that tragic night, and those who helped to arrange this event in her mother’s honor.

“On December 27th, 2021, the Wilmington community lost a beautiful soul- my mother- to domestic violence,” said Knowles. “As painful as it is to do, I hope sharing her story will encourage the conversation to continue so that no one else has to say goodbye to their mother like I did.”

The dedication ceremony served as an unofficial opening for a charity tennis tournament organized in partnership with the Greater Wilmington Tennis Association, Holly Tree Racquet and Swim Club, and other generous sponsors.

Called “Raise A Racquet Against Domestic Violence,” the world team tennis format tournament takes place through Sunday, March 6th, with eligible league winners advancing to the WTT National Qualifiers.

All proceeds for the tournament will benefit Wilmington’s local Domestic Violence Shelter and Services, Inc. (DVSS). Opportunities for educational engagement around domestic violence will be offered throughout the weekend and cover topics such as teen dating violence and ways to help support victims.

In 2021 alone, 63 domestic abuse victims were killed in North Carolina as a result of intimate partner violence. Two of those victims included Wilmington women, MaryAnn Breault and Shelby Hershberger.

If you or someone you love is a victim of domestic violence, the Wilmington Domestic Violence Shelter and Services has many resources to support those in need.

You can visit their website here. 

Categories: Carolinas, Local, NC, NC-Carolinas, New Hanover, News, Top Stories, US, What’s Happening

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