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Roswell Refuge and SANE host fourth annual That ’70s Dance

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

The fourth annual That ‘70s Dance has a new location. On April 20 at 6:30 p.m. the doors of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 3201 S. Sunset Ave., open to let fans of the ‘70s in for an evening of entertainment and to give support to the Roswell Refuge Domestic Violence Shelter and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for the Chaves County program.

Organizers of the event are the Refuge’s executive director Lesli Carrera and Monica Galindo.

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“This is the fourth year that we are having it,” Carrera said. “April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and once the Roswell Refuge joined with the SANE program, we decided to go with that theme. SANE came into being, so to speak, in the ‘70s as well as the Roswell Refuge. The Refuge was first established in a church in 1978. The event took off and people really enjoyed it. We started to change it and do something different and people told us to keep it the same. ‘We’ve already got our costumes and are excited.’ So it’s been going really well and every year it’s getting a little better.”

“People are familiar with it. They are excited in coming and dressing up. They have some really nice costumes. It’s a lot of fun,” Galindo said.

The evening will feature music by ZIA Entertainment and DJ Speedy. “He’ll play ‘70s, early ‘80s music — a little bit of everything: country, Spanish, disco, rock, the whole thing. We’ll have a dance and costume contest. We’ll have a cash bar and dinner is included in the ticket cost,” Carrera said.

Members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles will prepare the dinner. “We are very fortunate. We have a culinary trained chef as a friend,” Galindo said.

According to Carrera, the evening will cost less with volunteers helping.

“We are doing everything ourselves, that’s what is new,” Galindo said. “We had our food catered, we rented spaces. Our expenses are not going to be as much as it’s been in years past.”

The organizers are still accepting donations for the silent auction and there will also be a 50/50 raffle.

According to Carrera last year, proceeds came to more than $4,000. They are hoping for a larger sum this year.

Asked what other need the Refuge has, Carrera said, “We’re always in need of toiletries. A lot of times, we really can use — and don’t get a whole lot of donations — of new bras and underwear. The large sizes are what we always have a problem with.”

Also on the list are household items, sheets and blankets for the queen size and twin beds, towels, washcloths. “Most people take these with them when they leave,” Carrera said. “We started taking items and putting boxes together with some plates, silverware, pots and pans, so when they transition out, we can just give them a starter box. Those things are helpful because they go quickly.”

Some things not as obvious is hair color, new makeup and laundry detergent. “Things to make them feel good, too,” Galindo said. “We do take men now; age is a mix. We’ve seen — since we opened to men — these quite often. More than you would think. We take anybody who is in need and who is in a domestic violence situation. We take women, men and families. Currently, the child must be accompanied by an adult if they are not 18 years old. There are a few exceptions to that, if they are emancipated or under certain circumstances. We stay pretty full.

“We had a few strange months, hardly anybody in the shelter and that was all around this area actually. We know the abuse hasn’t stopped. Now we are back to getting pretty full again.

“We do have the other side; we run the offender program,” Galindo said. “If you get convicted of domestic violence, the judge will sentence the offender to a 52-week program and it’s mandatory. We do that here. We issue most restraining orders for the county out of here and get a gazillion people who do not qualify for restraining orders. That’s a whole thing in itself.”

Restraining orders can only be issued to a person who had been in a domestic relationship with the victim or victims.

“Pretty much anything that relates to domestic violence or sexual assault,” Carrera said. “We are the place to come get help. If we can’t help, we find out who can. That’s our biggest mission, that everybody gets help, whether we can help them or not. We work closely with other agencies in town, which is so important. We are very fortunate, the community supports us and we need their support now for this event.”

“We hope everybody comes out and supports a very good cause and has a good time,” Gallindo said. “Get the bellbottoms and platform shoes out.

“If anybody wants to contribute to the silent auction, they can drop it off or we can pick it up. It is tax deductible, of course. We got some art that was donated from some students,” Carrera said.

That ‘70s Dance is one of the Refuge’s two annual events. — the other being fundraiser and candlelight vigil during October, which is the National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

For more information, call 575-624-322.