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Aiding Women in Abuse & Rape Emergencies Inc. held its annual "Take Back the Light" celebration in honor of Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Awareness Month. On April 19, the gathering recognized our friends, neighbors and family members who have survived sexual assault and child abuse with a one mile march, a 5K run along the waterfront and rally at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.
On behalf of AWARE staff and volunteers, I would like to thank Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, Juneau Public Health and Leadership Juneau for partnering with Cristina Reitz from AWARE and Paul DeSloover from the Southeast Roadrunners. Thank you to CASA's Laura Haywood and Lynn Squires-White, and Juneau Public Health's Yvonne Young and Anne Akstin, who coordinated generous donations of refreshments made by Coscto, Alaskan & Proud market, Breeze Inn, Fred Meyer, Heritage Coffee, Safeway and Super Bear. Congratulations to CASA's Live Hope honorees Jewel Walker and Christy Conrad, for their outstanding and ongoing service.
Thank you to Lyle James, who led the Woosh Ji een Dance Group and inspired many of us at the rally to dance, drum and be one with the heartfelt beat.
And a very special thank you to the women who courageously shared their knowledge in the rally speak out - your courage to speak and heal from domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse and take back the light is inspiring. May you continue to experience the safety and supporting environment that we all deserve. Thank you for speaking out.
Thank you to the runners, marchers and family and friends of survivors for creating this success.
Executive director, AWARE