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We are happy to announce the first winners of the OCDVTF Paint the County Purple Contest.
Oxford Hills Winner: Ari's Pizza and Subs
River Valley Winner: River Valley Healthy Community Coalition (RVHCC)
Thank you to Eleven Circles and A Girl Thing students for judging the contestants.
Congratulations to all those that participated. The judges made note of the many creative ways participants incorporated the message, resources and the color purple in their displays. They were all unique and informative
We asked both winners if they would be willing to share why they chose to participate and what the reaction from the community had been. This month we highlight Ari’s Pizza and Subs:
Why enter? After attending the Domestic Violence Task Force Meeting as part of my internship, I was pleased to witness our community law enforcement, probation officers, sheriff, Department of Health Human Services, domestic violence (Safe Voices), and sexual assault (REACH) organizations, all working together to bring domestic violence awareness to our communities. I was moved by the strong commitment to go the extra mile in amongst the multiple duties they hold to taking the time to organize and spread the word against domestic violence. I felt the motivation and the importance for our communities to get involved.
As owners of Ari’s Pizza & Subs on Norway Maine Street, my husband and I decided to make it known that domestic violence had to stop and as a community we would help to educate the public. I was able to share this information with other businesses and felt the enthusiasm to spread the word. We spent the next few weeks’ brain storming ideas with family and friends. We wanted to catch the eyes of as many patrons we could in their quick stop to get lunch or dinner. In doing so we made sure purple would be seen everywhere, even the ceilings.
Most of our patrons asked what and why we decorated in purple, some wanted to buy a link to lengthen the chain against violence and the kids loved the coffin and purple lights. As we heard positive responses we felt that we reached our goal to spread the word.
We felt that if passing the word could help one person stand up for themselves, maybe even teach a child/family member that domestic violence is NOT a way to handle disagreements and that resources are available to them, this would start a link towards positive relationships for all of us.
We all deserve to feel safe, have healthy relationships, and have the freedom to experience life without fear or hesitation. How we respond to others and circumstance is learned and as a community, we need to step up and model appropriate behaviors of our emotions. Model and teach human courteously for one another in stopping the cycle of abuse. We all deserve the right to become frustrated, have an opinion, and even become angry without feeling frightened to express ourselves. Children learn at a very young age how to express frustration and anger and we as adults need to model appropriately for not only our own health but those of our children and their relationships.
It was nice to be a part of the Task Force and build on the motivation to better our communities. Ari’s Pizza & Subs did win the contest but in all we hope we reached at least one person to understand that violence is not the answer, alternatives are available and that our community takes a stand against domestic violence. It was nice to see other businesses inspired to also take a stand in showing their support against Domestic Violence, and next year we hope to have even more business participants to color the county Purple!
Owners of Ari’s Pizza & Subs,
Chris & Josee Farrar
Look for winner RVHCC column in December.
For more information about the Oxford County Domestic Violence Task Force contact- firstname.lastname@example.org or call 364-9908
For more information about Safe Voices, check out their website at, www.safevoices.org.
If you are looking for information and/or support, for yourself or someone else, you can call their
24 hr. Helpline @ 1-800-559-2927