Event raises funds, awareness of domestic violence

November 16, 2013 • Local News

Bryttini Bitner and her 2-week-old son Maynard attend “Play it Forward,” hosted by the Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell chapter of Phi Theta Kappa to promote awareness of domestic violence at the Roswell Convention Center, Saturday. (Mark Wilson Photo)

As Alpha Mu Pi, the Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, attempts to achieve its last goals and obtain the required fifth star, the group focused on having a university event that would raise awareness of domestic violence.

“Play It Forward” was a fundraiser held Saturday at the Civic and Convention Center to help raise money not only for ENMU-R and its honor society, but also for Assurance Home, CASA and Roswell Refuge.

From beanbag tosses to a raffle for a bike, the students put together [auth] multiple activities for kids, in an effort to raise money to help survivors of domestic violence.

“I’m really proud of them,” said Mike Jimenez, an ENMU-R liberal arts division instructor. “These are the best kids on campus.”

Required to keep a 3.5 GPA, the students in Alpha Mu Pi have a focus on community service. For this cause, they were doing everything they could to raise money, Jimenez explained.

With a photo booth, sodas courtesy of Pepsi and a cakewalk, there were many little activities to be paid for, and the money will be divided into four parts for the different organizations.

ENMU-R also gained some exposure by having representatives from different departments display various aspects of their industry or simply hosting fun booths.

The film department, with Alan Trever, had fun showing off its PlayStation 4, and kids enjoyed kicking little droids around while Trever used the controller to vacuum those poor droids back into the controller.

Ignoring technology and siding with the semi-supernatural or at the very least exotic, the arts department decided on fortune telling.

With Madame Zazinga — more commonly known as Jennie Bower, the art instructor — kids (and adults) could get their fortunes told based on drawings.

Depending on which animal was picked, the color used and the direction of lines, Madame Zazinga, along with her student cohorts Rainbow Bright (Jesica Brooks) and Mistress Saphire (Sherry Mestas), was able to tell more about personalities.

“I had to come up with something appealing to the general public,” Bower said. She figured coloring would be good for kids, and mixed that with experiences and knowledge she attributed to her mother, who was a graphologist — a handwriting specialist.

She wrote all of the fortunes off the top of her head, but did use some “obvious symbolism” such as red being for passion, or an animal facing left being a progressive personality, she said.

Amid the fun, the primary focus of “Play It Forward” was the attention brought to domestic violence.

“It’s about the awareness of violence, and letting these kids know they’re not alone,” said senior Manuel Zavala, who has been a member of Alpha Mu Pi for about a year. “We’re here to help. Everyone can use some.”

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