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Light the Lady promotes domestic violence awareness

October 13, 2016

Amber Harrington

Staff Writer |  anh038@latech.edu

At Alpha Chi Omega’s “Light the Lady,” a candlelit vigil honors domestic violence victims. Photos by Brian Blakely

At Alpha Chi Omega’s “Light the Lady,” a candlelit vigil honors domestic violence victims. Photos by Brian Blakely

 

One Louisiana Tech sorority is determined to shed light on a very dark subject: domestic violence.

 

On Oct. 5, Tech’s Alpha Chi Omega chapter held its fifth annual candlelight vigil known as Light the Lady. The event promoted domestic violence awareness while also serving as a fundraiser to benefit the Domestic Abuse Resistance Team (DART) in North Central Louisiana.

 

This year, more than $427 was raised for the organization.

 

“Light the Lady just shows that we can all get out there and start spreading the word,” said Chancee Catanese, the vice president of philanthropy for Alpha Chi Omega.“We all have the ability to make a difference. Tonight, we all played a part in doing that.”

 

Catanese said the vigil not only supported the sorority’s philanthropy, but more importantly it was a way to encourage students to start speaking up about domestic violence.

 

“I think it’s important for our sorority to support DART, especially,” she said. “Not just because it’s our philanthropy, but because domestic violence is something people don’t talk about anymore. It makes them uncomfortable, and too often it’s pushed to the corner.”

 

This fundraiser is one of the many Alpha Chi Omega hosts during the year. Others include Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Throw Pies Not Punches, Rolling Out Domestic Abuse Bunco Tournament and more.

 

Andrew Layfield, a sophomore aviation major, was one of the more than 177 people to attend the service.

 

“I came because I feel Light the Lady event is partially about bettering the community,” Layfield said. “It may not seem like a big deal to us students now, but in the end, we’re the ones who are going to be living in this community. Let’s do what we can for it now.”

 

Terrie Queen Autrey, one of DART’s founders, spoke at Light the Lady on the idea of raising community awareness about domestic violence.

 

“Our community is no different than any other,” Autrey said. “Lives are being damaged, even taken, all as a result of domestic violence. It’s secret that’s been secret for a long, long time.”

 

Autrey also said that she appreciates all the work that organizations on campus, such as Alpha Chi Omega, dedicate to DART.

 

“I think LA Tech has a real commitment to addressing this issue,” she said. “ I feel that betweenClery Act and Men Standing Strong as well as groups that already support DART, Louisiana Tech is interested, determined and ready to make a difference in this generation.”

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