It was a chilly night when many stood in a circle, surrounding a table that was covered in lanterns, just waiting to be lit. Kids ran and played along Gage Street Lake, many adventuring onto the new pier. Candles were lit and given to everyone. In the safety of the circle, women shared their personal experiences with domestic violence. One young woman courageously left her abuser after three years, finally making the call to her mother and sister asking them to get her out. Another woman, now with grandchildren of her own, watched her mother be abused as a young girl. As an adult, she found herself trapped in her own abusive relationship, but she was able to leave with the timely phone call from a friend. Her granddaughter just started a domestic violence awareness club at her school, already seeing domestic violence's affect on her classmates. One man declared men need to know abuse is not what shows masculinity; rather, protecting one's family is the true mark of manlihood.
The evening closed with a water song and pumpkin cookies, everyone slowly extinguishing their lanterns, not forgetting what they had heard.