By Lillian Bowe
When Eastern New Mexico University social work student Michelle Howard found out the Arise sexual assault program needed money to keep an important piece of equipment, she came up with a plan to help.
Howard, a member of Phi Alpha, a social work honor society, helped persuade the group to raise money for Arise. Many social work students also volunteer at Arise and were willing to organize the fundraiser.
“Arise is such an important place for people who have been sexually abused,” Howard said.
Howard and other Phi Alpha members got local country singer Will Banister to perform at the Yam Theater last Saturday. Howard said her goal was to raise $1,000 for Arise and they ended up taking in $1,200.
“It was a great turn out and a lot people came out to show their support for Arise,” Howard said
Phi Alpha advisor and professor of social work Barbara Palantone said not only did the group help Arise, but students learned how to organize an event.
“They learned organizational skill and all last week they had a booth in the CUB (Campus Union Building) selling tickets and also telling people about the services Arise provides,” Palantone said.
Arise’s Director Leigh Ana Eugene said the money is for their Colposcopy machine, which cost $26,000. Arise had $20,000, but needed to raise money for the remaining amount.
Eugene said they received $1,000 from Clovis Kiwanis Club and Arise is still trying to raise more.
Arise gets $170,000 in grant money and cash to pay nurses performing exams comes from the state.
“We are grateful for the fundraising, but we are also grateful for the awareness it brings. More people found out about our program and what services we provide,” Eugene said.
Howard said she wants more people to know about Arise.
“The machine Arise needs money for will make it easier to prove sexual assault and Arise’s clients are 60 percent children,” Howard said.
Howard said Arise provides a safe and comfortable environment for victims of sexual assault.
Arise is a program that provides help to sexual assault victims of any age for all of Eastern New Mexico. It also provides nurses trained to deal with sexual assault through the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program.