Masquerade for Hope

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By Daris Mendez

Ornate masks and elegant dresses filled up the reach of Downs Hall on the night of April 8th. With translucent glasses and lounge tables dressed in aqua blue, you would think the elegance followed an event like prom or homecoming.

The purpose, however, was a Masquerade charity ball hosted by Kean University’s Leadership Institute aimed to raise funds for 180Turning Lives Around, a New Jersey based nonprofit organization which provides help for families and individuals who have been affected by domestic violence and sexual assault.

The masquerade ball was 100 percent student-run and was supported by numerous donations from restaurants and organizations, including Chick Fil’A, Barnes and Nobles and Gourmet Dining.

The goal for the fundraiser was to raise $3,000. With tickets and collaboration from students, Kean’s Leadership Institute was able to raise over $4,000 for the cause, according to KLI member Alyssa Leona.

The guest speaker for the night was Managing Assistant Director of Community standards and Student Conduct, Nicole Rodriquez.

Rodriguez stressed the importance of recognizing domestic violence when it happens and spoke about President Obama’s legislature put in place last March, which requires college campuses to speak about domestic violence.

“We want to make sure that students at Kean University are aware of what domestic violence is and how to recognize it,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez also urged Kean students to check out the program Step Up, which is designed to help Kean students recognize domestic violence when in the situation or recognize when a friend is going through it as well.

Look in the upcoming issue to learn more about the Masquerade Ball.

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