By Elizabeth Keys
STILLWATER, Okla. —
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Wings of Hope: Transforming Lives
WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: OSU ConocoPhillips Alumni Center
FEATURES: Fundraiser emceed by Chasen Shaw with dinner from Meditations, auction called by Charles Kaupke and musical entertainment with mezzo soprano April Golliver performing
TICKETS: $75 per person or $130 admits two
RESERVE: Call 405-372-9922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday
Monday is the deadline to reserve a spot for “Wings of Hope: Transforming Lives,” a fundraiser to support the Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services Center. The agency is devoted to helping victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. With a mission to create awareness of these problems, they are taking these crimes out of the shadows to transform lives.
Funds are needed to continue programs and this event is a way to contribute to the cause. With an operating budget of more than $900,000, the fundraiser helps the agency provide shelter, counseling, court advocacy, respite childcare, parent education, batterers’ intervention classes and community education in five counties. Headquartered in Stillwater at 3800 N. Washington St., Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services responds to more than 8,000 calls per year on the crisis line. Direct services are provided to 3,000 victims, mostly women and children, with 90 percent in Stillwater or Payne County.
“If we break the cycle of violence, the biggest transformation should be seen in the children’s lives,” said Marie Abraham-Robinson, executive director.
Wings of Hope: Transforming Lives is the main fundraiser for the agency. Other events are planned for April to promote awareness of sexual assaults. The organization is hosting the Fifth Annual Kick Up Your Heels Relay Events in Couch Park at 9 a.m. April 5 for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Each team is made up of four male members, wearing women’s shoes, competing against other teams. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Free food and prizes will follow the competition at approximately 10:30 a.m. All competitors will receive a free event T-shirt. Additional T-shirts will be available for purchase.
“This event has a ‘trading spaces’ feel as opponents battle for the title of winning team for 2014,” said Prevention Program Coordinator Julia Aikman. “The title has been held, for the last two years, by the Wesley Foundation team. Word is — they are going down this year.”
“Come watch the events and cheer on your favorite team,” Aikman said. “We are celebrating the survivors whose spirits have persevered against this type of tragedy.”
The fee is $100 for the team. Students and nonprofit teams are $50 per team. All mailed registrations should be postmarked by April 1. Onsite registration is available. For more information about Kick Up Your Heels, call 405-372-9922 or email email@example.com.
Aikman said two more events in April will promote change when it comes to relationship violence and teen dating violence. The goal of the programs, “Tune It Up! (Musicians, Poets and Artists for Change),” is to create a community event where musicians/poets and artists bring people together to start talking about positive and supportive relationships.
“We are searching for Payne County and Noble County artists to use their talents to show their support during these April awareness events,” Aikman said. “I am looking for artists who want to sing (small choir/duet or soloists), play their instruments (small band or soloists), rap, tell appropriate jokes, read published or unpublished uplifting poetry, read a short monologue or speech and/or display their beautiful photos or art work.”
One event is 6-8 p.m. April 11 in Noble County at the 611 Bakehouse on the Square in Perry. Another event is in Payne County at Stillwater’s Aspen Coffee Co. in Fountain Square from 6-8 p.m. April 25.
“A participant can perform or display at both events as well,” Aikman said. “It’s a great opportunity for performers/artists/actors to get recognition . . . try something out that they have been working on in front of a great supportive audience. There are volunteer opportunities with Wings of Hope as well for the nights of the event and anytime.”
All ages, genres and talent levels are encouraged to call 405-372-9922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot in the show soon, she said.