NORWICH – According to Catholic Charities of Chenango County, women make up the highest percentage of victims of crime locally, and to combat that statistic, the organization will be holding two empowering events this week to bring awareness to National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
The first event takes place at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Howard Johnson’s Hotel in Norwich with the Fifth Annual Celebration of Women. “The goal of the program is to educate and empower women and to highlight the services available in the county,” said Catholic Charities Crime Victims Program Educator and Advocate Beth Neuland.
The Celebration of Women will run from 6 to 8 p.m., but a lot of information and activities will be packed into the two-hour event. Front Porch Harmony will take the stage from 6:15 until 7 p.m. The Donna Frech School of Dance will perform from 7:15 to 7:30 p.m., and Fusion with Shelly Harris will perform from 7:30 to 8 p.m. A martial arts demonstration by Robin King and a motivational speech by Maria Stamatatos, owner of Gus’ Steakhouse, will also take place over the course of the evening.
“There will be job opportunities, housing resources available, heath care and fitness information and a lot of community based organizations as well,” Neuland explained. The night will include light hors d’oeuvres, informational materials, raffles and free massages, manicures and hair cuts. The Celebration of Women is intended to be a community unity event, to help women establish connections with other women and creating a feeling of representation in the community.
The following night, Catholic Charities will host a second event with a similar purpose. The “Take Back the Night” rally and march will be held on Friday starting at the Roger W. Follett Hall Atrium at the Norwich Campus of Morrisville State College. The “Take Back the Night” rally and march is intended to promote awareness of sexual violence and abuse and help prevent the crimes from occurring. Morrisville and Catholic Charities partnered to present the event as part of a semester long endeavor to bring the community together to rally against sexual violence...