(Photo via Flickr user Terry Robinson, used under a Creative Commons license)
We’re officially in Sexual Assault Awareness Month and that means we’ll be seeing a number of programs and events from local organizations to bring awareness, and hopefully an end, to the issue that’s not just limited to men’s violence against women.
Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) is a nonprofit that works year-round to end sexual violence through services such as its 24/7 hotline and its advocacy for sexual assault survivors’ rights.
— WOAR (@WOARphila) March 30, 2017
But April is when you can expect some of WOAR’s bigger, sponsored events to take place, and for the first time, the organization is lighting up the Philly-famous Boathouse Row lights in a teal color on April 10, 11, 27 and 28. Teal is the official color for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Why only four days? Lydia Moore-Hill, administrative assistant at WOAR, explained in an email that it would cost the nonprofit too much to pay the lighting fees for a whole month.
“The cost to light Boathouse Row is a lot for a small nonprofit,” Moore-Hill said. “Hopefully next year we can work with a company who will help support WOAR lighting up Boathouse Row for more nights. We were only able to pay for days that surround the large agency-sponsored events in April.”
Those events include the Bridge of Courage reception and silent auction on April 11, where they will be awarding the inaugural Carole Johnson Humanitarian Award to John Darby, who retired last year as captain of the Special Victims Unit after helping to bring change to the way rape was investigated in Philly. And on April 28, Hands Around City Hall will invite advocates to form a human chain around City Hall.
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The costs for changing the lights’ colors, which is paid and handled through the Parks and Recreation department, are $500 per day for nonprofits and $1,000 per day for private companies. The money collected helps to pay for the maintenance and repairs of the programmable LED lighting system through the Boathouse Row Maintenance Fund, according to Bonnie Mueller, vice commodore of Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia, the nonprofit overlooking all things rowing in the region.
And Mueller said any nonprofit can inquire about getting its colors or causes represented through the lights.
You might remember that the lights underwent an upgrade last April and were subsequently lit up in red, white and blue just in time for the Democratic National Convention in July.-30-
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