BONIFAY — The Washington-Holmes Domestic Violence Task Force is partnering with Doctors Memorial Hospital to have their first ever Domestic Violence Awareness Walk from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 11 at Doctors Memorial Hospital in honor/memory of victims and survivors of domestic violence.
“This walk will be a fundraiser event in an effort to raise funds to support victims of abuse in Holmes, Washington and surrounding areas,” said Missy Sword Lee, Family Intervention Program Supervisor for Habilitative Services of Northwest Florida. “The mission of the DV task force is to open a shelter for victims to escape an abusive situation without having to leave their own community.”
She said she has pledge forms available for the walk and that people consider walking individually or getting a team together to walk to help them raise money.
“This is not just an awareness walk,” said Lee. “This is going to be a community event for the entire family. While folks are walking to collect their pledge money, we will have vendors set up selling items, $50.00 vendor fee, and vendors set up giving items away, vendor fee waived.”
She said if there is a business, church group or an individual would be willing to set up a tent and sell items/share information about your church or business or give items away such as snow cones, cotton candy, water bottles, etc. to please let her know.
“We will also have entertainment going on from a stage,” said Lee. “We will have several local folks sharing their talents like singing, martial arts, etc. and we plan to have a country music singer with us as well. We have sponsorship packages so please consider sponsoring this event as there are great incentive packages depending on which level you give at.”
Men will get their own opportunity to support this event in a "walk in her shoes".
“Men, get your high heels out and get ready to walk a short distance in support of an abuse victim that could be your sister, your mother, your grandmother, your daughter,” said Lee. “I hear that their are some out there who are so excited about this event that they plan to wear skirts with their heels, which sounds like so much fun.”
Last would be the luminary event, where they recognize victims and survivors of domestic violence.
“If you know someone who has fallen victim to domestic violence or is a survivor of domestic violence, please consider naming them for a luminary to be lit in their name the night of the event,” said Lee. “Survivors of domestic violence will be sharing their stories while this vigil takes place.”
She said one in four women would experience domestic violence in their lifetime. “Domestic violence does not discriminate against race, religion, financial stature or age. Domestic Violence will never stop if we do not get involved,” said Lee. “It takes a community to stop this abuse. Thank you in advance for your support; if you make a step to get involved, you never know who might follow in your steps.”
Entertainment will include local young artists as well as demonstrations by Trinity Martial Arts and drama skits by Carmel Youth Drama Team, Take 2.
Featured entertainment will be free concerts by The Drummonds gospel group and Nashville country singer and Sun Records recording star Julie Roberts.
T-shirts will be available for $15 for task force shirts and $20 for event shirts and Awareness bracelets will be available for $10.
“I would like to thank our sponsors for making this event possible,” said Lee.
Platinum level and main sponsors Southern Health Care Rural Clinic, Sherry Young ARNP, Dale Mitchum MD, Kiwanis of Chipley and Bonifay and McDonalds of Bonifay; Gold level Los Rancheros Mexican Restaurant, Community South Credit Union, Trinity Martial Arts, Chipley Wal-Mart, Law office of Christy Novongloski, First Impression Cleaning, Children’s Advocacy Center of Northwest Florida, Jason French and Clerk of Court Kyle Hudson; Silver level Fashion Frenzy Boutique, Tray Hawkins, Corbin Auto Sales, Tri County Gas, Lora Fishers Self-defense Class, Bonifay Athletic Club, David Melvin Engineers and Yes Lord Deliverance Ministries, COGIC; Community Partners/vendors for event Doctors Memorial Hospital, Creations by Farrah, Beauti Control by Amanda Cook, Tupperware by Maggie Strickland, Chipola Healthy Start, The Cake House by Lori Davis, The Silver Door, Massages by Alicia Brininger, Guardian ad Litem Program, Holmes Co. Victim Avocates, Family Intervention Program, CB’s Kettle Korn, Vocational Rehab, Mary Kay by Jennifer Jacobus, Art by Bradford Locke, Life Management Center, Carmel Assembly of God Church, Knuckleheads Inflatable’s and Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
Special Events also include a pumpkin carving contest, which all pumpkins must be already carved and on the stage by 6 p.m., face painting, free food, drinks, snow cones, candy, popcorn, Giant Inflatable for kids, vendors, free concerts, free mini massages and free hand scrubs.
For more information contact Chair Missy Lee at 596-3288 or visit their Facebook page at Washington-Holmes Domestic Violence Task Force.