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Bingo Fundraiser Set For Nov. 22

Soroptimists invite community to join fight against violence

Soroptimist International of Mt. Adams is sponsoring a family Bingo Night on Friday, Nov. 22, at the White Salmon Park Center, from 7-9 p.m.

All proceeds from the event will go to the local domestic violence outreach program, Programs for Peaceful Living, for launching a teen peer domestic and sexual violence education and empowerment project.

The Bingo Night will include prizes from local business, ranging from a ski or snowboarding lesson from Mt. Hood Meadows to dinners at local restaurants. Beverages, refreshments and child care will be available. Admission is $3 per person or $10 per family.

"The program we hope to launch is currently being used in Seattle with great success," said Susan Gardonyi, an advocate for Programs for Peaceful Living in White Salmon. "We may have to adapt it some to the size of our community but we will still follow the focus of the project of educating and empowering teens so that teens become advocates against domestic and sexual violence and spread the education and empowerment to other teens."

The pilot program is based on PACE, Peers Advocating Communication and Empowerment, begun in 1994 in Spokane and now a touring theatrical group performing a play which addresses the realities of being a teenager in today's world. The goal of PACE is to reach adolescents with prevention education against risk-taking behaviors. The project is planned to be introduced in White Salmon and then expanded to other communities.

"The idea is that the teens who participate in the project will share the information and skills they learn to prevent domestic and sexual violence with their friends and then it will filter down to the younger children. This can be done through both formal programs and regular peer communication," continued Gardonyi

" As a strong advocate for women's issues," said Lorrie Knowles, president of Soroptimist International of Mount Adams, "Soroptimist International works against the effects of domestic and sexual violence on our society and particularly on girls and women." The club is hosting this family-oriented Bingo Night to raise the seed money for Programs for Peaceful Living to purchase educational materials needed to get a peer education and advocacy program going in our community." At the same time, we want this to be a family event so that the issue of domestic and sexual violence and other at-risk behaviors might be raised and therefore discussed among family members," she added.

"This is the first time we've hosted a Bingo Night and we are hoping that the community will come join in the fun and show their support for a program which is so necessary and can be beneficial for our youth. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun and support a worthy cause," added Kris Jeter, event coordinator for Soroptimist International of Mount Adams.

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