Alpha Chi Omega to host candlelight vigil in support of domestic violence awareness
The Beta Psi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega will Light the Lady as an awareness-raising event for domestic violence at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Lady of the Mist in the Louisiana Tech University Quad.
Light the Lady is an annual candlelight vigil hosted by Alpha Chi Omega, Beta Psi, to raise funds for DART (Domestic Abuse Resistance Team), and support domestic violence awareness. This year the event will feature speakers from DART and Alpha Chi Omega, as well as the stories of both survivors and victims of domestic violence in north Louisiana.
“As a sisterhood, coming together in order to help others is what we do best,” said Kimmie Davidson, president of the Alpha Chi Omega-Beta Psi Chapter. “Over these past couple of years our relationship with DART has flourished into a beautiful partnership that allows us to speak on behalf of those who cannot. We are real strong women here at Alpha Chi Omega. We see the beauty in the common things in life and hope by lending our support to DART, we can help those who have had this simple pleasure taken away.”
The sorority will be selling luminaries the week prior to the event for a dollar each. All who purchase a luminary or donate at the event itself will be entered in a raffle to win two free tickets to Six Flags Over Texas. There will be a total of four possible winners, each will receive two tickets a piece.
On average nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. The Violence Policy Center recently issued an annual report that measured the number of domestic violence fatalities for each state. Louisiana is ranked second in the nation with a rate of 2.42 homicides per 100,000 females
Alpha Chi Omega members are working to open a dialogue about this subject and raise awareness about local organizations that assist victims of domestic violence in Louisiana. One of those organizations is DART, a non-profit organization established in 1994.
DART provides services such as safety planning, case management, shelter, legal advocacy, supportive counseling, and a crisis hotline. The Beta Psi chapter of Alpha Chi Omega holds many events throughout the year to raise funds to support both DART and victims of domestic violence.
“Events like Light the Lady are essential for spreading awareness and raising money for DART,” said Sarah Murchison, vice president of philanthropy for Alpha Chi Omega-Beta Psi. “The support DART receives through these community events is what makes it possible for this organization to make the impact that it does in our community. Countless families and individuals in our area have been affected by domestic violence, but DART is a resource that is always willing to go above and beyond to help victims.”
Raising awareness of domestic violence is a national focus for the philanthropic efforts of Alpha Chi Omega members, and this cause has been one that local members have embraced wholeheartedly.
“It is a privilege as a member of Alpha Chi Omega to support a cause that impacts so many people’s lives on a daily basis” said Alexandra Wynne, vice president of membership programming for Alpha Chi Omega-Beta Psi. “DART does an amazing job of providing much needed services in north Louisiana for victims of domestic violence. It is our hope that through our events we can shed a light on all the amazing work that the organization does and continue to aid them for many years to come.”