The music was loud, but the hum of the crowd was louder as students and community members packed into O’Dells Brewery Friday for Campus Feminist Alliance’s Take Back the Night fundraiser.
“This is the second year we’ve done this fundraiser and there are twice as many people here,” said Karissa Ciarlelli, a senior journalism major and active member of CFA. “It’s amazing, fantastic and beyond what we expected.”
Take Back the Night is an annual march for survivors of sexual assault, their supporters and any other interested students and community members to raise sexual assault awareness. The O’Dells fundraiser is the largest fundraiser the CFA organizes for Take Back the Night.
“Fort Collins is such an open-minded community,” said Kelli Walkinshaw, an O’Dells employee. “And O’Dells is a great company. We’re donating the location and all the drinks tonight and CFA is getting 100 percent of the profit.”
Aside from O’Dells beer, the fundraiser featured food, a silent auction and the music of Emily Fehler and the Jill Brzezicki Band.
“Historically, the alcohol at this event has taken a backseat to the issue at hand,” Ciarlelli said. “It’s more about relaxing, listening to some great music, all for a really great cause.”
According to the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 17 men will experience a completed or attempted sexual assault in their lifetime, adding up to more than 11,000 people who are affected by sexual assault.
“The stats are outrageous,” Ciarlelli said, “until you can put a face to them. Take Back the Night is all about creating an empowering atmosphere for survivors.”
In addition to O’Dells’ contributions, the event was sponsored by the Associated Students of CSU and the Center for Justice, Peace and the Environment.
“I think the amount of people here tonight shows that Fort Collins wants to improve and alleviate sexual assault,” said Al Leonard, a junior history major and active member of CFA. “I think that says a lot for Fort Collins’ future.”
Take Back the Night is set for April 19. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Lory Student Center.
Staff writer Hilary Davis can be reached at email@example.com.
Take Back the Night
April 19, 2007
6 p.m. – Speak Out in the Sculpture Garden of the LSC
7:30 p.m. – Take Back the Night March from the LSC to Old Town
8 p.m. – Rally in Old Town with speakers and performance by Bridget Gray
Reception at the Bean Cycle with more performances by Bridget Gray