APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY)-- Hundreds of community members gathered in Appleton Saturday to raise money for sexual assault victims in the Fox Cities.
The 10th Annual ‘Shall We Dance’ event raises money for the Sexual Assault Crisis Center of the Fox Cities.
“The work we do is helping those who are victims, we have counselor, we have support groups, and advocates. We also have prevention education to go out and teach safety and prevention in the schools as well as with adults and all these programs and services we provide at no cost,” said Amy Flanders, executive director of the Sexual Assault Crisis Center of the Fox Cities.
The goal is to raise $250,000 Saturday night with the help of a silent and live auction hosted by Action 2 New’s Bill Jartz.
For one dancer, Jessica Lietzan-Buechel, Saturday’s event is personal because she has helped sexual assault victims for the past four years as a nurse.
“I respond when a sexual assault patient comes to the hospital to do evidence collection and a physical exam,” said Lietzan-Buechel.
Not only is she dancing to raise money for a cause she believes in, but she is also trying to raise awareness.
“Being able to show up for those people at the hospital but also to come here today and dance to start the conversation with people who maybe are not ready to talk about it has been an enormous privilege,” said Lietzan-Buechel.
Rich Batley, president of RB Hospitality, said he never thought he would be part of this conversation.
“Living here all my life I never thought our city has that kind of stuff going on and so it was a real eye opener for me,” said Batley.
However, Batley said he is proud to be part of the conversation and hopes by talking about the signs of sexual assault and human trafficking with this staff of over 400 people that he will also be part of the solution.
“You just have to be aware of it, watch out for it and take action,” said Batley.