More than one million women are raped every year and nearly one in five women have been raped in their lifetime.
Those numbers (compiled by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) are staggering. And Karen Sherga and her FCCLA students at Coon Rapids High School are determined to put an end to it.
FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) has family as its central focus and is a vocational student organization that functions as an integral part of the family and consumer sciences education curriculum and operates within the school system.
For the seventh consecutive year, Sherga and her students will host the annual Stop Domestic and Sexual Violence Walk-a-thon at the high school.
This year the fundraising and awareness event takes place Sunday, Oct. 6, with registration beginning at 10:30 a.m. and participants taking their first steps at noon on the high school track. (In the case of inclement weather, the event will move indoors to the fieldhouse.)
“The number of participants is key. The number of people speaks volumes,” said Sherga.
Proceeds benefit Alexandra House, an Anoka County-based domestic and sexual violence victim advocacy agency, and will help to support its mission “to empower victims of domestic and sexual violence, and inspire social change, through education, support and advocacy.”
Walk-a-thon participants are invited to bring non-perishable food items for the food shelf at Alexandra House, as well as old cell phones.
During the event, there will be speakers, displays, music, food and door prizes as well as face painting, crazy hair and nail painting.
Organizers hope to see at least 200 participants and raise at least $2,000 this year.
Advance registration is $12 per participant, and includes a T-shirt, water bottle and snack. Day-of registration is $15.
“Or folks can just show up. No registration necessary – our main focus this year is number of people,” said Sherga. “Number of participants is the key. Number of people speaks volumes.”
Teams and individual participants are welcome.
People wishing to share their story, or who have items to donate for door prizes can contact Sherga at 763-506-7220 or by email at Karen.Sherga@anoka.k12.mn.us.
To download a registration form, or for more information about the walk, visit Coon Rapids High School’s website via www.anoka.k12.mn.us.
Sue Austreng is at