Budget cuts at the state level continue to affect programs locally and the most recent to be affected is DOVES, the non-profit which, as its name suggests, offers Domestic Violence Education and Services—for women, men and children. DOVES Chairman Michael Natzic tells KBHR that $207,000 or, effectively ¼ of their budget was slashed as of last week. “When you lose a quarter of your budget,” Natzic says, “it hurts. Governor Schwarzenegger’s line-item veto last Tuesday resulted in full elimination of domestic violence funding, which will affect 94 agencies including DOVES. A number of these agencies will be forced to close.” Though DOVES will remain in operation from their offices on Summit Plaza in Big Bear Lake, Natzic says, “We got hit big time, and we are closing our office in Blue Jay, and we’re having to make local cuts. But, we’re still here and we’ll survive through this crisis, but it will have some impact on us—which will make our fundraising efforts more important than ever. Luckily, because of our other grants and the support we get from the Big Bear community, we will continue to service our community and clientele.” Services offered by DOVES include counseling for victims of domestic violence, support groups, legal advocacy, and parenting classes, as well as operation of a 24-hour crisis hotline (at 800-851-7601), and a 17-bed shelter available for women and their children. Given the reduction in funding to DOVES, Executive Director Kathi Harper says, “We need volunteers now more than ever.” Adds Natzic, “How can Big Bear help? Continue to support DOVES events, and donate to our organization—we’ll take products, we’ll take funds. Items for our shelter, like toiletries and food items, are always welcome, but money is always the best thing.” The next fundraiser is the annual DOVES gala, Starry, Starry Night, at Northwoods Resort on August 29. For tickets and information, or to reach DOVES for assistance, their outreach center is available at 866-1546.