Gala Honors “Men Who Make a Difference”

Providence Mayor David Cicilline with

Event Chair Melanie Delman

The annual celebration of twelve important men who are making positive contributions in local communities was celebrated at an exuberant Gala dinner at The Viking Hotel in Newport recently.


For the benefit of the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) of Newport & Bristol Counties, the “Men Who Make a Difference’ Gala supports the work of the agency in assisting victims and survivors of domestic violence to help them to have safe, healthy families, free from emotional, physic, and verbal abuse.

State Senators Charles Levesque &

Teresa Paiva Weed


In her official welcoming letter Melanie Delman, Event Chair and President of Lila Delman Real Estate, said “Violence begets violence. Abuse begets shame. Domestic violence shatters families, and destroys the lives of children. That is why we honor the men in our community that have been strong, positive role models in nurturing family values.”


Women’s Resource Center Board President Gary Lineberry welcomed guests to the reception and spoke about the agency’s work, creating sustainable economic models, and how it is “doing some things differently,” stressing new pilot programs for coping with activities like bullying.

Honoree Jim Taricani, Mr. Farrelly &

Laura White (Mrs. Taricani)


This year honorees, Marvin L. Abney, Paul L. Cardoza, Ed.D., Ray Davis, Ben Ellcome, Reverend Christopher L. Epperson, Kevin O. Hagen, Esq., Sergeant Dennis Leahey, Senator Charles J. Levesque, Kevin O’Connor, Charles “Charlie” Plant, James “Jim” Taricani of NBC 10, and John “Jack” White, received their engraved silver trays at a VIP cocktail reception preceding the dinner. The trays immediately became serving platters, as the gentleman began taking drink orders for patrons, and asking (quite successfully) for tips for the organization.


Senator Sheldon Whitehouse & Doreen Stafford

Adjourning to a dinner in the downstairs ballroom , the honorees were joined by agency supporters, as the music of Java Jive lent an infectious air of festivity. All the partygoers were there to help, and to dance.


Chair Melanie Delman was introduced as a Chair who “gets things done.” As the honorees (whose images were projected on a large screen behind the dance floor) were introduced, each made inspirational statements about their beliefs: “not to be a bystander,” “the right thing to do,” “every individual matters.”


Lori DiPersio & Gary Lineberry

Emcee for the evening was Don Mays, of Roger Williams University. Lori DiPersio, Executive Director of WRC, spoke on behalf of the agency.  An articulate survivor of domestic violence recounted a horrific tale of being abused and stalked, and how WRC had helped her and her children with counseling, shelter, and legal assistance. “Their help was invaluable,” she stated.


The dinner was an elegant “surf and turf,” with salmon and filet mignon.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, accompanied by aide Vivan Spencer, arrived to give the champagne toast to the agency’s work.


Kevin Hagan, Charles Levesque & Marvin Abney

Providence Mayor David Cicilline came for dessert, and spoke with Ruth Orthwein. Lila Delman agents Cathy Andreozzi and Robin Nicholson took to the dance floor. Veronica Hobbs of WRC cut a fine figure, and high-heeled sandals on ladies were the order of the evening. A short silent auction featured an African Safari and a foursome at the Newport Country Club. The band, Java Jive, donated $700 to WRC, handing the check to Ms. DiPersio.


For further information on the work of the Women’s Resource center, go to





Chris & Laura Epperson with Toby Field


Scott Nicholson & Chris Epperson


Bidding on the silent auction


Jack White with Fran & Bill Lemoult, V.P.

of the WRC Board


Susan Gustavson


Karen & Tom Gieseke, Board Member, with

Kevin O'Connor


Checking in guests


Kendrick Spencer, Kendra Goodrum, Gary

Lineberry & Melanie Delman


Listening to their praises being sung


Saucy sandals


Bill & Fran Lemoult with Robin Nicholson


Reverend Epperson as waiter


Melissa Alexander & Sarah DeCataldo with

Dennis Leahey


Dan Chekan, Mary Weaver, Elizabeth Tiedemann

& Bev Corbin


Sue Alexander & Melanie Delman


Silent auction items


Dennis Leahey & Newport Seen's Linda Phillips


The dinner tables


Java Jive


Joyce Lineberry, Ruth Orthwein & Mary Ambrogi


Emcee Don Mays


Gary Lineberry speaking about the honorees


The honorees, in alphabetical order, with

Veronica Hobbs


Applauding the speakers


Melanie Delman receives "thank you" flowers


Extolling the accomplishments of the honorees


Lori DiPersio, Gary Lineberry & Senator

Sheldon Whitehouse


Cheryl Delekta & Doreen Stafford


Kevin O'Hagan, Esq.


Senator Whitehouse offers the toast


Melanie Delman & Sheldon Whitehouse


Mary Roda & Tony Fragomeni


Deborah DeBare, Executive Director, RI Coalition

Against Domestic Violence


Lori DiPersio talking about Women's Resource

Center programs and initiatives



Screens described each individual  honoree's

contributions to family and community


Veronica Hobbs


Hitting the dance floor


Cathy Andreozzi & Melanie Delman


Friend & Melanie Delman


Veronica Hobbs & Don Mays


I know that step! Showing it off for Newport Seen


Crowded dance floor


Mayor David Cicilline & Ruth Orthwein


Erik Wallin, Attorney General candidate, with Kevin

& Mrs. O'Hagan


To purchase a hi-resprint of an image, contact

Linda (at)  Images copyrighted













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