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Downton Abbey

This image released by Focus Features shows, from left, Elizabeth McGovern, Harry Hadden-Paton, Laura Carmichael, Hugh Bonneville and Michael Fox in a scene from "Downton Abbey," in theaters on Sept. 20.

"Downton Abbey" fans will have the chance to see the new movie a day earlier than its nationwide release thanks to a fundraiser for Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry Counties sponsored by Jacqueline L. Powell & Associates.

The premiere will be held Sept. 19 at R/C Theaters in Carlisle. VIP tickets are available for $75, and include a reception at 6 p.m. prior to the movie as well as seating in R/C Theater’s “most intimate” theater, Powell said.

Only 30 VIP tickets are available.

The remaining 115 tickets are available for $25 and will include the movie only, starting at 7 p.m.

Everyone who attends will receive a gift bag with opportunities to win additional prizes, Powell said.

All proceeds from ticket sales go directly to Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland & Perry Counties.

'Downton Abbey' explored social change even as it stayed put

There are a few reasons Powell would host a movie premiere to benefit Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry Counties.

One is that she, and her namesake company, Jacqueline L Powell & Associates, want to give back to the clients at the firm.

Powell said many of her friends and clients watched “Downton Abbey,” the British drama about an aristocratic family in the early 20th century that aired on PBS from 2011 to 2016.

“It ended, to a lot of people’s chagrin, but we knew a movie was in the works,” Powell said.

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According to the movie’s website, the movie tells the story of the Crawley family and their staff preparing for a visit from the King and Queen of England that will “unleash scandal, romance and intrigue that will leave the future of Downton hanging in the balance.”

The second reason is a sense of wanting to give back to the community. Powell said the agency sponsors various organizations, but, in this, she took inspiration from her business neighbor, David Hartzell, who has hosted premiere events for Star Wars movies with proceeds benefiting area charities.

Charity draws Star Wars fans to Carlisle theater complex for early screening

Couple that with the experience Powell has serving on the finance committee at Domestic Violence Services and that she’s known Barbara Kohutiak, the agency’s executive director, for many years and a plan began to come together.

“We want to do it for fun so that all of the ticket sales will go directly to Domestic Violence Services. They don’t incur any costs associated with putting on the event,” Powell said.

The third reason is the one Powell doesn’t talk about much in public.

Twelve years ago, her niece and her niece’s three children were murdered by her niece’s husband in what Powell said was the ultimate act of domestic violence. According to the Chicago Tribune, Kimberly Vaughn, 34, and her children Abigayle, 12, Cassandra, 11 and Blake, 8, were shot by Christopher Vaughn on an isolated road during a surprise trip to a water park.

“It could happen to anyone, any family, any economic situation, any educational background,” she said.

Powell said she talked to her sister-in-law, the mother and grandmother of the victims, who said she was “OK” with holding the event, but asked Powell to communicate the goodness of their friends, church and other people who surrounded the family in their time of need.

That’s, in a way, what the movie premiere is trying to do, Powell said. It’s not making the tragedy the primary focus of an event, but sharing the goodness of what can happen when people come together.

The people buying tickets are supporting someone else who may need the services Domestic Violence Services offers.

“Everybody’s lives are touched in some way. They just maybe aren’t sure or maybe don’t know it,” Powell said.

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Email Tammie at tgitt@cumberlink.com. Follow her on Twitter @TammieGitt.

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