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October 5, 2012

Gourd dance to raise funds for WRC

NORMAN — Events ongoing for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Purple ribbons have been tied around trees at the Cleveland County Courthouse and areas downtown, but that’s just the beginning of what agencies, organizations and individuals plan to do to raise awareness for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

A free Benefit Gourd Dance will be 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Goodrich Memorial UMC, 200 W. Hayes St. Donations will go toward the Women’s Resource Center Domestic Violence Shelter and Rape Crisis Center.

The woman behind the idea for the Benefit Gourd Dance, Linda Forrester, said the event will be one of the biggest fundraisers to support the WRC. She is also founder of the nonprofit organization Natives Against Domestic Violence .

Native American women experience one of the highest rates of violence in the United States, Forrester said. She knew many gourd dances, or pow-wows, were well attended by the Native American Community.

Forrester said she wanted Native American women, and women in general, to know there are places to go to for help and support; a place where people want to help and a place that is safe.

“The good thing about the Women’s Resource Center is that it’s not just a place to run to in the middle of the night,” she said. “They can stay there until they get the resources they need to give them a safe place.”

Mayor Cindy Rosenthal and Chief of Police Keith Humphrey will be speaking at the event.

Last year, the WRC served 190 women and 137 children. It was established in 1975 where women, children and battered men are all welcome.

To learn more, visit www.wrcnorman.com or their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pages/Womens-Resource-Center/160156347337817.

For more information about the Benefit Gourd Dance, call Forrester at 833-1559 or Mary Lou Drywater at 361-2393.

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