D/SAOC vigil is Thursday

Brenda McBride

People who have been murdered by their own loved ones will be remembered during a candlelight vigil Thursday evening in Fort Dodge.

Brenda McBride, executive director of the Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center in Fort Dodge, described the event as “a night of remembrance for those who lost their lives due to domestic violence.”

“It shows that they’re still in our hearts, that they’re important to us and that they’ll never be forgotten,” she said.

The vigil will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday in St. Paul Lutheran Church, 400 S. 13th St.

The main speaker at the event will be Vicki Campbell, whose daughter was murdered on June 11, 2010, at a home near Lake City. Her daughter, Heather Campbell, and her friend, Paige Gallo, were killed by Gallo’s fiance, Luke Schleisman, who then committed suicide.

“She’s going to come and speak to us about how domestic violence affected her family and just kind of tell her story,” McBride said.

About 25 life-size silhouettes will be positioned throughout the church’s sanctuary during the vigil. A plaque on each one will list the name of a domestic violence victim and provide a short story about them. During a portion of the vigil that McBride described as “very touching, very emotional” the names and stories on those plaques will be read aloud.

Also during the vigil, Jennifer Brown will sing.

In addition to the vigil, Leah Bair, program development director, said there will also be a disc golf tournament that will be a fundraiser for D/SAOC.

Known as the Discing a Hole in Hunger tournament, it will be held at the former Sunkissed Meadows Golf Course on Sunday.

Bair said the tournament is sponsored by Guthrie and Associates Real Estate, Ameriprise Financial and the Fort Dodge Young Professionals.

She added there will be one slight change from last year’s tournament.

“This year we’re doing it a little bit different,” she said. “We’re serving a freewill donation lunch.”

Jeans Day will also be held on Friday.

“That is where different businesses, banks, the courthouse, the county attorney’s office, places that typically aren’t allowed to wear jeans, wear jeans for the day,” Bair said. “They donate $5 so customers come in and wonder why they’re wearing jeans.”

The staff will then explain to them it’s in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which encourages people to talk about it.

D/SAOC will also be working on educating the public about domestic violence.

Bair said The Key on Central, a store whose proceeds all go to D/SAOC, has been decorated with different statistics and information about Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Bair said Domestic Violence Awareness Month provides a chance for D/SAOC to tell people about the services it offers.

“Until it’s right in front of your face, they don’t know it’s something that’s available,” Bair said. “So during the month of October, we try to highlight some of those areas.”

Candlelight vigil remembering victims of domestic violence

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: St. Paul Lutheran Church, 400 S. 13th St.

Other events during Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Jeans Day

• Employees pay $5 to wear jeans at work on Friday; money goes to D/SAOC.

Discing a Hole in Hunger

• Disc golf tournament

• Sunday at former Sunkissed Meadows Golf Course