Friday, November 21, 2008


18940 Barrister Ave. Akron, OH 44309


This plan’s lengthy exploration of the business
development leaves little question about the direction
of the endeavor. All aspects of the necessary
tasks to get the business started are covered and
the entrepreneur’s absence of salary emphasizes
his commitment to profitability. The hardboiled
approach of the plan echoes the businesslike manner
with which the company will likely be run.

Mission Statement
The mission of Paintball Sport Palace is to provide playing locations and equipment rental service to paintball players in the area who are currently involved in the sport or who wish to become involved in action pursuit games. The purpose of this presentation is to seek start-up financing for capital investment in both equipment and location procurement.

History and Current Status—Paintball Sport Palace is a new company in the start-up phase of development. Incorporated in Ohio, it seeks to be located in Summit County so as to be close to a major population center. Because the company is still in the preliminary phases, the availability of capital investment is a primary consideration.

Markets and Products—The products used and the overall market strategy will closely follow that of other successful paintball field operations throughout the United States. Products used will be industry standard, allowing for endorsement revenue for product placement and an incentive for paintball equipment companies to sponsor contests and events which will help draw in players from throughout the region. All products will be viewed from a cost-benefit perspective, and will take into account factors such as safety, reliability, and price. The market targeted for development will be primarily young adults 16-25 years of age, and the secondary market will be older adults 26-46 years of age.

Objectives—The objective of Paintball Sport Palace is to develop an indoor and outdoor play field while generating revenue through field rental and admission. Additionally, revenue will be developed from rental of paintball equipment, expendable supplies, and food concessions.

These four revenue streams should make the initial investment profitable within its first year of operation and allow for a steadily increasing pool of income on a yearly basis, as the sport of paintball grows nationwide.

Description—Paintball is both a sport and a game. It is already a hundred million dollar business nationwide, with revenue, which continues to grow on an annual basis. Similar to bowling in some organizational aspects, a paintball service company provides rental space for players and equipment in a structured environment. League play is not only possible, but strongly encouraged and a necessary component of building a profitable local business. Scores are kept and posted, and tournaments can be held in order to stimulate player activity and generate free publicity.

The largest fields in the country have hundreds, and even thousands, of players who participate in tournament style events and compete for prizes sponsored by savvy equipment manufacturers. Other opportunities for revenue generation include selling constantly in-demand supplies: paintballs, CO2 propellant refills, and assorted other forms of necessary and expendable equipment. Concessions are another source of steady and significant revenue which, if properly managed, can lead to a sizeable profit margin.

Location Considerations—For a paintball service company to be successful, it is absolutely imperative to offer both indoor and outdoor playing fields. This is especially true in a state like Ohio, which has a variable climate. Bookings and reservations are made far in advance. Not taking this factor into consideration will be highly detrimental to the success of the business.

Many other fields have had trouble retaining clientele without some sort of indoor facility to operate. This would normally mean that a location would be very expensive property to lease; however, this principle consideration is mitigated by the fact that a paintball playing field does not have to concern itself with aesthetics. Playing locations are not decided on appearance, rather, the lack of aesthetics is just as appealing to most players, and a gruff atmosphere can enhance the “feel” of the game for many players. Therefore, a large amount of capital that
would ordinarily be spent improving the appearance of the facility can be saved and expended elsewhere.

Market Analysis Nationwide—The market for paintball nationwide is outstanding. Fields throughout the United States are reporting record growth, and the need for fields is increasing,not decreasing. As more seasoned players develop and move to various parts of the country,the overall number of participants continues to grow. Likewise, the longer the games are played and the longer people are exposed to the sport, the more that paintball becomes legitimized and the more that national advertising will be expended in the promotion of paintball.

Market Analysis Statewide—The market statewide is encouraging. Several fields have opened while two others have shut down. The primary reason for the shutdown of the two fields in the southern part of the state did not have to do with a lack of business, but instead had to do with local zoning requirements and the fact that these businesses were not being run in a professional manner. The closest known competitor in the western part of the state is located in the Cincinnati area and, while it is fairly well known, it is not heavily advertised and players from this area only travel to this particular field infrequently.

Market Analysis Locally—The market locally consists of one competitor. Located in the southwest quadrant of the city, this competitor is chiefly an indoor arena. There is no room for expansion nor for any large-scale redesign of the playing field, which is an essential element of field design. Even though it is a small facility, with erratic hours, during the hours that it is open it does terrific business in booking events and maintaining repeat clientele.

The business is owned by two current police officers that also rent out the field to the city to use as a police training ground for close quarter encounter situations. This is the largest competitor in town for paintball dollars and, even though they are currently operating successfully, they have not tapped even a portion of the market due to their minimal advertising and lack of space. Since this business is not the owner’s primary source of income, the competition from this facility is thought to be manageable, and even helpful, in developing paintball players locally.

Overall Marketing Strategy—The target market for paintball is young and even middleaged, predominantly male adults. The younger players might have had experience in laser tag, or similar virtual-reality type games, and are looking for simple strategy games with a lot of action. Older players tend to be interested in more complex and challenging games where patience is more of a premium.

These players would be the weekend outdoorsmen (or sports enthusiasts) types and they would typically involve either a group of close friends or work associates, while the younger players tend to come in smaller groups of more immediate friends. Both groups depend heavily on interaction with their peers, and utilizing this peer
pressure as a positive marketing tool is essential.

There are many females who also participate in paintball games but, usually, they are drawn as either part of a corporate work outing or from some similar situation. Paintball is a demanding sport and though some degree of basic physical fitness will add to the enjoyment of the game, it is not essential to be completely fit in order to play.

Older players, and those with physical limitations, need to be reminded of the demands of the game and encouraged to play appropriately to their level of skill. This is also true of the sedentary weekend warrior type of person who is drawn to the game. Since young and middle-aged males tend to be the target demographic audience, advertising will be geared to attract these types of players.

Sales Strategy—Marketing will be targeted to a younger audience initially. Even though corporate bookings and older players will eventually become a large part of the target audience, initially, the best chance for positive cash flow comes from an appeal to younger players who will grow into repeat customers and truly provide a financial base upon which to build. Normal

media channels, which target all young adults, best reach these customers. Radio advertising seems especially effective when trying to reach this market and various radio stations with a rock or hard rock format would seem ideally suited for advertising. Also, there are plenty of local establishments that cater to young people where co-op advertising deals can be made.

The laser tag game arena, for instance, would provide an excellent place to recruit members. There are also local paintball supply shops that can provide a steady source of interested customers willing to play the game and a complete co-op arrangement can be made. Once this target market has been reached, and moderate success achieved, the next target of advertising revenue will be middle-aged players.

These players can be reached primarily through corporate advertising as a team-building exercise and through an appeal to the competitive and sportslike nature of the game. Many local paintball fields have had great success in recruiting
corporate membership by offering specialized recruiting discount packages. Once again, if the field is packaged correctly as a paintball destination and not merely as a paintball field, then the local corporate sponsors will feel comfortable bringing their employees to engage in teambuilding activities.

Current Status—A site has been pre-selected for development of the paintball field. It is located in the southeast section of the city and is the site of an abandoned multiscreen drivein theater. It is in a demographically popular part of town and very close to the shopping malls and main thoroughfares of the city. There is plenty of room for outdoor playing and there are several centralized buildings that would provide an indoor playing arena as well. The facility is not currently being used and is a liability and non-performing asset for the current owners, a regional theater chain which would like to divest itself from the property.

Development Plans—The plan to develop Paintball Sport Palace into something more than a simple playing field is essential to the overall concept. The business should strive to make it a paintball destination within the local community. There is a certain atmosphere that needs to be created in order for this to happen. The type of atmosphere necessary to be successful depends on developing a theme for the play field. The theme can be post-industrial or military or something similar.

The theme is very important to making the paintball field a destination instead of simply as a place to play. The more successful the theme, the more likely that repeat players will come back and use the field on a permanent basis. Several themes have been discussed and a military theme adopted for the field itself.

Development Timetable—An aggressive strategy of growth requires us to adopt the following timetable:

Winter 1997—Lease of primary land site in southeast section of the city.
January 1997—Bid specifications prepared for contract construction services.
February 1997—Bids awarded for March and April above ground construction.
March 1997—
Above surface rehabilitation of standing buildings for indoor portion of
play field.
April 1997—Above surface rehabilitation of outdoor playing field surfaces and
May 1997—Equipment set-up and distribution center established.
May 15, 1997—Initial advertising blitz.
June 1, 1997—Grand opening of Paintball Sport Palace.

Development Risks—Financial risks associated with the project are specified below.

Development risks are minimal and mainly concern liability and other operating risks. The risks associated with liability are as follows:

a. Players have to be given a certain amount of latitude in regards to movement and even though the field and boundaries are well marked and defined, some players may

wander from the play area and may try to shoot paintballs at unspecified targets. This would not be a problem in some locations; however, this location is close to a main thoroughfare. Fencing would eliminate this problem, yet that would be an expensive solution to a relatively small security problem.

b. There are problems associated with booking very large events that are mainly logistical in nature. Equipment, which must be provided, may be limited and cause difficulties with supply. Affiliating with a local paintball supply store could alleviate this problem, but it may be a less than ideal solution if not enough equipment is available.

c. The indoor portion of the arena may require more extensive renovation than
originally anticipated because a site survey of the property has indicated that interior walls of the main arena structure may have to be braced and/or removed.

A Note on Safety and Liability—There are several safety issues worth considering. Although paintball is recognized as a completely safe sport, and few permanent injuries happen, there are occasionally injuries due to physical exertion and these cannot be mitigated. Further, there is a potential injury problem stemming from the misuse of equipment which can cause more serious injury. These issues are addressed in a safety briefing given to each player at the start of the game.

Also, each player is required to sign a liability waiver upon entering the play area.
Violators are banned for the day and, if the offense is serious enough, they may be banned from future play. A general liability insurance policy is obtainable for this type of sport and readily available if policies and procedures are properly followed.

Personnel—The number of weekend personnel will remain fairly static and will only increase significantly if there is a large event taking place. Approximately 10 workers per day will be needed to run the entire field. The breakdown of personnel needed is as follows:

1 onsite manager for the entire operation
4 rotating counter people and equipment lessors
2 food concession personnel
3 referees and safety inspectors

Field Leasing Cost—The cost of leasing the field for the season will be approximately $6000.00 for the duration of the year, plus utilities and a nominal year-end cleanup fee for any areas that need to be restored to their original state.

Equipment—The following is a list of some of the equipment (pricing obtained at discount rates) and projected quantities that will be needed to start-up operations:

50 Stingray Paintball Guns—semi-auto, durable, carbon fiber @ $94.95 ea. = $4,747.50
20 Tracer Paintball Pump Guns—pump action, easy to operate @ 94.95 ea. = 1,899.00
20,000 Paintballs—water soluble, 2500 per case, various colors @ 89.95 ea. = 719.60
2 N2 Compressed Air System plus C1 CO2 Nitro refillable tanks @ 329.95 ea. = 659.90
100 CO2 Portable Canisters—refillable and for use with weapons @ 39.95 ea. = 3,995.00
100 VL 2000 Paintball Loaders—reusable and holding 200 balls @ 9.95 ea. = 995.00
10 VL 2000 Electronic Loaders—primarily for resale on site @ 54.95 ea. = 549.50
70 Goggle and Visor Combinations—with fully protective visor @ 54.95 ea. = 3,846.50
100 Barrel squeegees—for use with gun, reusable and durable @ 9.95 ea. = 995.00
100 Barrel Plugs—reusable and brightly colored for locating @ 4.95 ea. = 495.00
10 Vent Grips—forward barrel hold, primarily for resale on site @ 24.95 ea. = 249.50


Scope of Operations

10 Head Wraps—for further head protection, optional equipment @ 9.95 ea. = 99.50
Misc. Equipment—lens bags, ordinance, smoke, trip flares, etc. @ various = 1,000.00

TOTAL EQUIPMENT COST = $20,251.00Ongoing Operations—The cost of ongoing operations is estimated to be as follows:
In the off-season, amortized costs are expected to hover in the $1000.00 range per month, as the business is somewhat seasonal in nature. As soon as warm weather breaks (and even this is not completely necessary), income will be expected to rise in tandem with an increase in the use of the outdoor playing field.

Company Organization—The company will have one primary owner holding an initial 51%
of the outstanding shares of the facility. All stock will be preferred and par value of the stock is expected to be $1.00 per share. All other investors in the project will be silent partners concerning day-to-day operations of the facility; however, this shall not preclude investors from offering input as to the financial decisions affecting the company, according to their respective share holdings.

Management Team—Onsite management will consist of one weekend management coordinator
and nine support personnel. Initial management will be performed by the owner and
turned over to an assistant manager once the facility reaches suitable profitability. All personnel can be adjusted according to bookings obtained and these figures project personnel costs at Paintball Sport Palace’s anticipated peak operating capacity.

About Gerald Summers—Gerald Summers has had previous experience in a number of small
business settings including ownership of a local automated carwash and a local area
laundromat located on Main Street. Gerald Summers graduated with honors from the
University of Indiana with a degree in business.

He has helped develop several large multiinvestor projects and is currently a participant in a restaurant site location team. Previously,Gerald has worked in the insurance industry as a commercial lines underwriter. He lives in the Cleveland area with his wife and two children.

Management Compensation—Initially, management will not be compensated until the business can obtain a suitable level of profitability. Once that occurs and all reinvestment has been made, the current shareholders will be offered a chance to redeem their holdings at a level exceeding the par value of the stock.

If that option is not exercised and no stock can be bought back from any of the current shareholders, then compensation will be divided pro-rata according to shareholder equity in the business. The owner is not expected to draw a salary for the duration of the operation of the business, instead choosing to take the pro-rata portion of anticipated profits. Not only does this help to insure that the business will reach and maintain profitability, but it will also insure that unnecessary cash flow is not diverted from the business at a critical time during the operation of the facility.

Financial Assumptions—All accounting will be done through an accredited accounting firm using standard accounting practices. All financial reporting and audits that become necessary during the operation of the business will use the actual method of accounting and be backedup with suitable documentation. All specific financial assumptions have been spelled out in the sections listed above.

Financial Forecasts—This business is projected to become profitable during its first year of business and continue moderate growth following its first full year of operation.


As income streams are enhanced, the net profitability is forecasted to rise at a rate approximately 1.5% times greater than at current projections.

Capital Requirements—It has been determined that the initial capital offering will be for 30,000 shares. This offering is believed to represent the minimum capital outlay necessary to get the business up and running and generating revenue. No other capital outlay is necessary at this time; however, a capital reserve pool of $20,000 is available through owner contribution, if it becomes imperative, to add additional capital prior to start-up.

Financial Risks—There are risks associated with any business endeavor. We have tried to minimize risks associated with the development of this project. Even so, there are some considerations worth noting:

Capital development is still in the preliminary phase; however, $10,000 has been pledged for capital investment by a past investor in previous projects.
The owner’s track record with this kind of business has not been established because this is a relatively new type of business to impact the market; yet, the owner of

Paintball Sport Palace has a record for developing businesses similar in size and scope to the one being proposed.

The investment made by shareholders will initially have minimal equity necessary to
secure the business except for a large inventory of equipment that will depreciate in value quickly because of the heavy anticipated use of the equipment.

Investment Requirements—The initial private offering will be based on the expected par value of $1.00 per share. One hundred thousand shares will be available immediately with 51% held in reserve for management ownership. Thirty thousand shares will be offered in exchange for investment capital at its par value rate. Ten thousand shares have already been pledged and tentatively purchased by an investor at the shares expected par value.

The shares purchased will convey genuine ownership and voting rights within the organizational structure and will entitle the shareholder to a dividend of profits based on ownership of the business. The shares
may be redeemed at par value at any time for any shareholder willing to divest themselves of ownership; however, share redemption will be at the initiative of the shareholder and will not be forced upon them.

A. All shareholders retain rights to the company, which are fully transferrable and assignable according to their individual disposition of shares.

B. Shares will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis and, even though total share distribution is expected to be set at 30,000 shares, nothing in this offering will prohibit the sale of up to 49,000 shares or more of the stock if it becomes necessary for capital outlay purposes.

C. Ownership of shares conveys specific legal rights and remedies. Proper legal representation should be obtained if necessary.

D. This is a private offering and the number of investors shall be limited to 35 shareholders or less to avoid any conflicts with the securities laws of the United States. The predominant state law authority for all disputes arising among shareholders will be Ohio State law.

Valuation of Business—The business will be valued according to the aggregate amount of all building acquisitions, cash on hand, accounts receivable, furniture / fixtures purchases, and all capital outlays divided by the par value of the stock. The total valuation of the company shall be obtained with the oversight of an accredited accounting firm and at the request of any shareholder of the business at any time.

Income Projection Sheet

OFFERING REVENUE Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug

Total sales 2,000 2,000 2,000 4,400 6,800 9,900 9,900 9,900
Cost of sales 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300
Gross profit 1,700 1,700 1,700 4,100 6,500 9,600 9,600 9,600


Salaries 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Payroll 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,500 3,000 3,000 3,000
Accounting 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Legal 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80
Insurance 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200
Advertising (300) (300) (300) (300) (300) (300) (300) (300)
Automobile 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Office misc. 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
General miscellaneous 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200

Rent 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500
Utilities 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Permits 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Loan repay 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Phone 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Fax/comp. 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30
Postage 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
General miscellaneous 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50

All Expenses 2,530 2,530 2,530 2,530 3,030 4,530 4,530 4,530

Net Profit before taxes-830 -830 -830 1,570 3,470 5,070 5,070 5,070




Sep Oct Nov Dec
7,000 4,400 2,000 2,000
300 300 300 300
6,700 4,100 1,700 1,700
0 0 0 0
2,000 1,500 1,000 1,000
100 100 100 100
80 80 80 80
200 200 200 200
(300) (300) (300) (300)
0 0 0 0
50 50 50 50
200 200 200 200
500 500 500 500
100 100 100 100
50 50 50 50
100 100 100 100
50 50 50 50
30 30 30 30
20 20 20 20
50 50 50 50
3,530 3,030 2,530 2,530
3,170 1,070 -830 -830

REVENUE Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug
Total sales 2,000 2,000 2,000 4,400 6,800 9,900 9,900 9,900
Cost of sales 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300
Gross profit 1,700 1,700 1,700 4,100 6,500 9,600 9,600 9,600

Salaries 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Payroll 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,500 3,000 3,000 3,000
Accounting 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Legal 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80
Insurance 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200
Advertising (300) (300) (300) (300) (300) (300) (300) (300)
Automobile 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Office misc. 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
General miscellaneous 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200

Rent 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500
Utilities 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Permits 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Loan repay 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Phone 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Fax/comp. 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30
Postage 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
General miscellaneous 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
All Expenses 2,530 2,530 2,530 2,530 3,030 4,530 4,530 4,530
Net Profit before -830 -830 -830 1,570 3,470 5,070 5,070 5,070

Six-Month Cash Flow Projection

May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Seasonly Adjusted

Cash on hand $30,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Cash receipts 6,800 9,900 9,900 9,900 7,000 4,400
Total cash available 36,800 9,900 9,900 9,900 7,000 4,400
Cash paid out/fixed expenses 3,890 3,930 3,930 3,930 2,930 2,430
Cash paid out/capital purchases 22,000 500 500 500 500 500
Total cash paid out for all expenses 25,890 4,430 4,430 4,430 3,430 2,930
Cash position/end of season $10,910 $5,470 $5,470 $5,470 $3,570 $1,470


Assets Liabilities

Current Assets Current Liabilities
Cash $1,000 Accounts payable $0
Petty cash $100 Notes payable $0
Accounts receivable $0 Interest payable $0
Inventory $0 Taxes payable $0
Short-term investments $3,500 Sales tax $0
Long-term investments $16,500 Payroll accrual $0
Fixed assets Long-term notes $0
Land $0 Total liabilities $0
Buildings $0 NET WORTH (owner equity)
Improvements $0 Proprietorship equity $21,100
Equipment $0 Partnership equity $0
Fixtures $0 Capital stock $0
Automobile $0 Surplus paid (earnings) $0
Other assets $0 Total net worth $0

Total assets $21,100
Total liabilities & Total net worth $21,100
Balance Sheet (for Start-Up)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey

In households with incomes under $15,000 per year, 35.5% of women and 20.7% of men suffered violence from an intimate partner.

43% of women and 26% of men in multiracial non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.

39% of women and 18.6% of men in American Indian/Alaska Native households suffered partner violence.

26.8% of women and 15.5% of men in white non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.

29.2% of women and 23.3% of men in black non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.

20.5% of women and 15.5% of men in Hispanic households suffered partner violence.

CDC Adverse Health Conditions and Health Risk Behaviors Associated with Intimate Partner Violence

Each year, IPV results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women and nearly 600,000 injuries among men.

23.6% of women and 11.5% of men aged 18 years or more have a lifetime history of intimate partner violence victimization.

Highest percentage for women is adults aged 45-54 (31.2%)

Highest percentage for men is adults aged 25-34 (21.4%)

General Statistics
On the average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day.

92% of women say that reducing domestic violence and sexual assault should be at the top of any formal efforts taken on behalf of women today.

1 out of 3 women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.

1 in 5 female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. Abused girls are significantly more likely to get involved in other risky behaviors. They are 4 to 6 times more likely to get pregnant and 8 to 9 times more likely to have tried to commit suicide.

1 in 3 teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, slapped, choked or physically hurt by his/her partner.

As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy.

Violence against women costs companies $72.8 million annually due to lost productivity.
Ninety-four percent of the offenders in murder-suicides were male.

Seventy-four percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner(spouse, common-law spouse, ex-spouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend). Of these, 96 percent were females killed by their intimate partners.

Most murder-suicides with three or more victims involved a "family annihilator" -- a subcategory of intimate partner murder-suicide. Family annihilators are murderers who kill not only their wives/girlfriends and children, but often other family members as well, before killing themselves.

Seventy-five percent of murder-suicides occurred in the home.

The National Domestic Violence: Abusive Relationship Test

Embarrasses you with put-downs?
Looks at you or act in ways that scare you?
Controls what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
Stops you from seeing your friends or family members?
Takes your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
Makes all of the decisions?
Tells you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
Prevents you from working or attending school?
Acts like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?
Destroys your property or threaten to kill your pets?
Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
Shoves you, slaps you, chokes you, or hits you?
Forces you to try and drop charges?
Threatens to commit suicide?
Threatens to kill you?
If you answered 'yes' to even one of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship. For support and more information please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799 SAFE (7233) or at TTY 1-800-787-3224.
Memphis Area Domestic Violence-Related Charities

Sophia’s HouseAssociated Catholic Charities
(901) 728-4229, Angela at Sophia’s House (901) 722-4700, Associated Catholic Charities
A local charity whose goals include:
Providing emergency, long-term housing for victims and their children
Rehabilitating victims to prevent future abusive relationships
Counseling victims who also have drug or alcohol-related issues

YWCA of Memphis
(901) 323-2211 (901) 725-4277 Crisis Hotline
A local arm of the national YWCA whose goals include:
Empowering women and eliminating racism through Christian values
Providing services to thousands of local domestic violence victims (women, children) including counseling, food, court advocacy, and shelter

(212) 645-8329 (510) 841-4025
A national and global grass-roots effort whose goals include:
Educating the public to stop violence against women and girls
Raising awareness of and money for domestic violence programs
already in place with new and/or refurbished events
Teaching through testimonials and other media by Eve Ensler
from her global interviews with victims from different cultures

The Exchange Club Family Center
(901) 726-2200 24-hour hotline
A local organization whose goals include:
Educating the public to end family violence
Monitoring protective family visitations for families in recovery or crisis

CAAP, Cocaine and Alcohol Awareness Program
(901) 794-0915 (901) 272-2221 Domestic Violence Hotline
A local organization whose goals include:
Providing a variety of behavioral health services to a diverse client base
Providing a 24-hour crisis center and counseling services
Advocating victims’ rights

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


WASHINGTON – Barack Obama was elected the nation's first black president Tuesday night in a historic triumph that overcame racial barriers as old as America itself.

The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, the Democratic senator from Illinois sealed his victory by defeating Republican Sen. John McCain in a string of wins in hard-fought battleground states — Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Iowa.

A huge crowd in Grant Park in Chicago erupted in jubilation at the news of Obama's victory. Some wept.

McCain called his former rival to concede defeat — and the end of his own 10-year quest for the White House. "The American people have spoken, and spoken clearly," McCain told disappointed supporters in Arizona.

Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, will take their oaths of office as president and vice president on Jan. 20, 2009.

As the 44th president, Obama will move into the Oval Office as leader of a country that is almost certainly in recession, and fighting two long wars, one in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan.

The popular vote was close, but not the count in the Electoral College, where it mattered most.

There, Obama's audacious decision to contest McCain in states that hadn't gone Democratic in years paid rich dividends.

Obama has said his first order of presidential business will be to tackle the economy. He has also pledged to withdraw most U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months.

Fellow Democrats rode his coattails to larger majorities in both houses of Congress. They defeated incumbent Republicans and won open seats by turn.

The 47-year-old Illinois senator was little known just four years ago. A widely praised speech at the Democratic National Convention, delivered when he was merely a candidate for the Senate, changed that.

Overnight he became a sought-after surrogate campaigner, and he had scarcely settled into his Senate seat when he began preparing for his run for the White House.

A survey of voters leaving polling places on Tuesday showed the economy was by far the top Election Day issue. Six in 10 voters said so, and none of the other top issues — energy, Iraq, terrorism and health care — was picked by more than one in 10.

"May God bless whoever wins tonight," President Bush told dinner guests at the White House, where his tenure runs out on Jan. 20.

The Democratic leaders of Congress celebrated in Washington.

"It is not a mandate for a party or ideology but a mandate for change," said Senate Majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Said Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California: "Tonight the American people have called for a new direction. They have called for change in America."

Shortly after 11 p.m. in the East, The Associated Press count showed Obama with 338 electoral vote, well over the 270 needed for victory. McCain had 127 after winning states that comprised the normal Republican base.

The nationwide popular vote was remarkably close. Totals from 58 percent of the nation's precincts showed Obama with 51 percent and McCain with 47.9.

Interviews with voters suggested that almost six in 10 women were backing Obama nationwide, while men leaned his way by a narrow margin. Just over half of whites supported McCain, giving him a slim advantage in a group that Bush carried overwhelmingly in 2004.

Monday, November 3, 2008


HONOLULU – Barack Obama's grandmother, whose personality and bearing shaped much of the life of the Democratic presidential contender, has died, Obama announced Monday, one day before the election. Madelyn Payne Dunham was 86.

Obama announced the news from the campaign trail in Charlotte, N.C. The joint statement with his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng said Dunham died late Sunday night after a battle with cancer.

"She's gone home," Obama said as tens of thousands of rowdy supporters at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte grew silent in an evening drizzle.

"And she died peacefully in her sleep with my sister at her side. And so there is great joy as well as tears. I'm not going to talk about it too long because it is hard for me to talk about."

But he said he wanted people to know a little about her — that she lived through the Great Depression and two World Wars, working the second on a bomber assembly line with a baby at home and a husband serving his country. He said she was humble and plain spoken, one of the "quiet heroes that we have all across America" working hard and hoping to see their children and grandchildren thrive.

"That's what we're fighting for," Obama said.

Obama learned of Dunham's death Monday morning while he was campaigning in Jacksonville, Fla. He went ahead with campaign appearances. The family said a private ceremony would be held later.

"So many of us were hoping and praying that his grandmother would have the opportunity to witness her grandson become our next president," said Hawaii state Rep. Marcus Oshiro, an Obama supporter. "What a bittersweet victory it will be for him. Wow."

Republican John McCain issued condolences to his opponent. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to them as they remember and celebrate the life of someone who had such a profound impact in their lives," the statement by John and Cindy McCain said.

Last month, Obama took a break from campaigning and flew to Hawaii to be with Dunham as her health declined.

Obama said the decision to go to Hawaii was easy to make, telling CBS that he "got there too late" when his mother died of ovarian cancer in 1995 at 53, and wanted to make sure "that I don't make the same mistake twice."

Outside the apartment building where Dunham died, reporters and TV cameras lined the sidewalk as two police officers were posted near the elevator. Signs hanging in the apartment lobby warned the public to keep out.

The Kansas-born Dunham and her husband, Stanley, raised their grandson for several years so he could attend school in Honolulu while their daughter and her second husband lived overseas. Her influence on Obama's manner and the way he viewed the world was substantial, the candidate himself told millions watching him accept his party's nomination in Denver in August.

"She's the one who taught me about hard work," he said. "She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me."

Michelle Obama's voice choked with emotion during a campaign appearance in Colorado as she asked people to remember the woman her husband called "Toot," a version of the Hawaiian word for grandmother, tutu.

"Say a prayer for Toot and thank her for raising Barack Obama. I think she did an amazing job," Obama told about 2,500 people at a suburban Denver high school gym.

Madelyn and Stanley Dunham married in 1940, a few weeks before she graduated from high school. Their daughter, Stanley Ann, was born in 1942. After several moves to and from California, Texas, Washington and Kansas, Stanley Dunham's job landed the family in Hawaii.

It was there that Stanley Ann later met and fell in love with Obama's father, a Kenyan named Barack Hussein Obama. They had met in Russian class at the University of Hawaii. Their son was born in August 1961, but the marriage didn't last long. She later married an Indonesian, Lolo Soetoro, another university student she met in Hawaii.

Obama moved to Indonesia with his mother and stepfather at age 6. But in 1971, her mother sent him back to Hawaii to live with her parents. He stayed with the Dunhams until he graduated from high school in 1979.

In his autobiography, Obama wrote fondly of playing basketball on a court below his grandparents' 10th-floor Honolulu apartment, and looking up to see his grandmother watching.

It was the same apartment Obama visited on annual holiday trips to Hawaii, a weeklong vacation from his campaign in August, and his pre-election visit in October. Family members said his grandmother could not travel because of her health.

Madelyn Dunham, who took university classes but to her chagrin never earned a degree, nonetheless rose from a secretarial job at the Bank of Hawaii to become one of the state's first female bank vice presidents.

"Every morning, she woke up at 5 a.m. and changed from the frowsy muumuus she wore around the apartment into a tailored suit and high-heeled pumps," Obama wrote.

After her health took a turn for the worse, her brother said on Oct. 21 that she had already lived long enough to see her "Barry" achieve what she'd wanted for him.

"I think she thinks she was important in raising a fine young man," Charles Payne, 83, said in a brief telephone interview from his Chicago home. "I doubt if it would occur to her that he would go this far this fast. But she's enjoyed watching it."

Stanley Dunham died in 1992, while Obama's mother died in 1995. His father is also deceased.

When Obama was young, he and his grandmother toured the United States by Greyhound bus, stopping at the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park, Disneyland and Chicago, where Obama would years later settle.

It was an incident during his teenage years that became one of Obama's most vivid memories of Toot. She had been aggressively panhandled by a man and she wanted her husband to take her to work. When Obama asked why, his grandfather said Madelyn Dunham was bothered because the panhandler was black.

The words hit the biracial Obama "like a fist in my stomach," he wrote later. He was sure his grandparents loved him deeply. "And yet," he added, "I knew that men who might easily have been my brothers could still inspire their rawest fears."

Obama referred to the incident again when he addressed race in a speech in March during a controversy over his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. "I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother," he said.

Dunham was "a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world but who once confessed her fear of black men who passed her on the street."

Still, much of who Obama is comes from his grandmother, said his half sister.

"From our grandmother, he gets his pragmatism, his levelheadedness, his ability to stay centered in the eye of the story," she told The Associated Press. "His sensible, no-nonsense (side) is inherited from her."

Madelyn Lee Payne was born to Rolla and Leona Payne in October 1922 in Peru, Kan., but lived much of her childhood in nearby Augusta.

She was the oldest of four children, and she loved to read everything from James Hilton's "Lost Horizon" to Agatha Christie's "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd."

Dunham and her husband were "vicious" bridge players, according to her brother Jack. After retirement, the two of them would take island cruises and do little but play bridge and a more difficult version called duplicate bridge.