Sexual and domestic violence continue to have a home here in Barton County, as they do everywhere else in the country. But the Family Crisis Center continues the battle to educate and end these crimes. Tuesday night, April 26, instead of the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, they are bringing to Great Bend a different type of Red Shoe event .
Director Laura Patzner hopes it will be a particular draw to many men and women, young and old, that might not be reached by the center’s traditional Red Shoe event.
To do this, the Family Crisis Center has partnered with the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Barton Community College, Walmart, Great Bend Middle School Booster Club, Eagle Radio and the Great Bend Tribune to bring women’s rights activist Donald G. McPherson to Great Bend.
McPherson has worked for nearly three decades to increase awareness about domestic and sexual violence. He will be the keynote speaker at a Red Shoe event happening at the Great Bend Community Theater, 1905 Lakin St., Tuesday night starting at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to all to attend, but seating is limited. The event will be emceed by K.B. Bell of the Great Bend Community Theater.
McPherson made his mark in sports history in the late 1980s and early 1990s when he captained the undefeated 1987 Syracuse football team, set 22 school records, and led the nation in passing and won more than 18 national “player of the year awards, including the Maxwell Award as the nation’s best player. He was one spot away from winning the Heisman Trophy. Then, he went on to be the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles and later the Houston Oilers.
When he retired from football in the 90s, he began to speak out about the way young men are taught by society to behave, specifically towards women and girls. Tuesday, when he presents his talk, “You Throw Like a Girl - Challenge the Perspective, Change the Culture,” he hopes his listeners take away an appreciation for nurturing positive language and that they will gain a better understanding of masculine identity.
Also Tuesday night, Family Crisis Center Director Laura Patzner will be presented a Visionary Voice 2016 award from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. She was selected earlier in the year for her outstanding work toward ending sexual violence.
Don Davis will be presented the Man Enough Award for his ongoing efforts with the FCC.
Dawn DeBolt is the sister of Alicia DeBolt, the Great Bend teen that was murdered in 2010 by a man she was friends with. She will be at the event to talk about how violence has a lasting affect on the family.
Leading up to the event, the Family Crisis Center challenged local organizations, businesses and individuals to conduct Red Shoe fundraising events, and students at Great Bend Middle School stepped up, the classes challenging each other to see which could raise the most money towards a goal of $10,000. The winning classes and fundraisers will be announced Tuesday evening. Local musicians Ian and Maxwell McGilber, The McGilber Bros., will also perform at the end of the evening one of their latest songs now available on iTunes.
Community sponsors of McPherson’s presentation of You Throw Like a Girl are Cuna Mutual, Stueder Contractors, Inc., Greta Bend Regional Hospital, P&S Security, P&S Electric Roustabout Service, Inc., Scott’s Welding Service, Venture Corp./ Chris and Julie Spray, OPI, Keller Real Estate, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Marmie Motors / Marmie Ford, Beautiful Beginnings, Flavored Creations, Rana Luna, and Cornerstone Interiors.