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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA community members involved in ‘Dine Out for Safety’

    Feel like going out to dinner tonight?

    The 11th annual “”Dine Out for Safety”” event will be sponsored by 33 Tucson restaurants tonight to raise money for the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault.

    Participating restaurants will be donating up to 20 percent of their sales from the day, which will help SACASA provide its services free of charge, said Gail Lakin, external relations associate.

    The center provides a 24/7 bilingual crisis line in addition to services like forensic exams and counseling to help clients deal with legal and police issues.

    “”It offers a venue to be out in the community across socio-economic status,”” Lakin said. “”It’s a great opportunity for community outreach to let people know there’s help here.””

    Because of the opportunity for community education through the event, Lakin said calls to the crisis line have skyrocketed the past few years.

    Joan Bonvicini, head coach of the UA women’s basketball team, has been the honorary chair the last few years and said she enjoys the opportunity for community service.

    “”It’s a great project and it helps so many people,”” Bonvicini said.

    Lakin also said fraternities and sororities send volunteers to help staff the restaurants along with many athletes – about 100 students total.

    Along with some of the women from the basketball team, Bonvicini will be helping to sell raffle tickets during the event.

    “”I really enjoy meeting everyone,”” Bonvicini said. “”This is what makes Tucson great. We all give our little bit of time and go eat at one of these great restaurants.””

    The raffle prizes include a gift certificate to Canyon Ranch Gold Day Spa, floor-level tickets to a UA basketball game and a grand prize of dinner for two at each of the participating restaurants.

    Frog & Firkin, 874 E. University Blvd., has been involved in the event for at least five years, said Scott Swanson, a bartender.

    Swanson said the event is great because it draws people from all across town to the restaurant.

    “”We hope people show up, wherever they decide to go,”” Swanson said.

    Last year, the center raised more than $124,000 at the event, a far cry from the first year in 1997, when $12,000 was raised.

    For a complete list of participating restaurants and raffle prizes, go to www.dineoutforsafety.com.

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