Mediation Center's Velvet Gala to Benefit Youth Programs January 18th

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire will host its inaugural “Velvet Gala” from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 at Cohen’s Retreat, 5715 Skidaway Road.

The “Velvet Gala” will feature live entertainment by Ricardo Ochoa & His Gypsy Jazz Quartet, drinks, appetizers, and a raffle fundraiser. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Mediation Center’s Peer Mediation, Community Conferencing and Children of Peaceful Engagement youth programs.

Peer Mediation is a confidential process for resolving conflicts. Participants have the opportunity to talk through their disputes with the help of trained student mediators. Peer mediators do no take sides or place blame on anyone. They listen to all participants and help the participants to develop their own solution to the conflict.

The COPE program teaches children who are going through stressful situations how to better cope with their anger and other emotions and manage their response using proven engagement strategies that focus on understanding and emotional learning. Typically, attendees are early school-age children and participation consists of two one-hour lessons, which take place during a one-week period.

“We are really looking forward to kicking off 2018 with this fun networking event,” said Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks. “The ‘Velvet Gala’ will be an enjoyable, upbeat evening with fantastic music and delicious food. We are grateful for the community’s support and look forward to continuing to grow our youth programs with the funds raised from the party.”

Ricardo Ochoa was accepted into the Venezuela Philharmonic at just 15 years old, making him the youngest musician to ever enter the orchestra. In 2015, he was voted The Best of Savannah’s “Best All-Around Musician.” Now, Ochoa can be found in the Savannah community playing with his band, Velvet Caravan, or onstage with the Savannah Philharmonic as principle second violin.

The Mediation Center’s team of experienced mediators are trained to help residents in Chatham and surrounding counties, including Bryan, Effingham, Liberty, Tattnall and Bulloch. The organization’s reputation is built on over 30 years of integrity and expertise, with a high success rate in resolving thousands of disputes. The Mediation Center is proud to offer the highest quality mediation services to help people resolve disputes through resolution as an alternative to litigation.

Tickets cost $45 each and can be purchased by visiting