By Conrad Dudderar
A Mexican fiesta will benefit Canadian County’s domestic violence agency.
A Cinco De Mayo celebration will be 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, May 5 inside the Education Building at the “old” Canadian County Fairgrounds, 220 N Country Club Road in El Reno.
The public is invited to attend and support the Intervention & Crisis Advocacy Network (ICAN), honoring “35 years of moving survivors from crisis to safety, stability and self-sufficiency in Canadian County.”
“There are so many worthwhile events that are happening this time of year,” ICAN executive director Matt Whetzel said during the March 25th Yukon Community Coffee.
“But only this one will have the first annual Canadian County jalapeno popper eating contest champion.”
This new May 5th Cinco De Mayo special event also will feature a “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” game, Mexican food stations, music, raffle giveaways, auction, “fiesta” photo booth, cash bar, and more.
“I’m looking for any door prizes,” Whetzel added. “So, if this is a cause ‘near and dear’ to your heart and you’d be willing to donate a door prize, come see me.”
It’s all designed to raise funds for ICAN, a United Way partner agency.
“Everybody goes out and eats Mexican food on Cinco De Mayo,” said ICAN board member Terry Martin, manager of Nina Willingham Senior Housing in Yukon.
“We decided we’d start offering Mexican dinner, and maybe people would come, and we could make this a tradition.”
Attendees are being encouraged to dress up in their Cinco De Mayo gear for a chance to be selected the “Most Festive Outfit” winner.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” pledged Martin, a member of ICAN’s event committee.
Special guest will be ICAN founder Dr. Mari Fagin, who started the non-profit agency more than 40 years ago.
Tickets to the May 5th Cinco De Mayo celebration are $55 each. Sponsors are being recruited.
To register or for more information, visit http://www.icancrisisnetwork.com/cincodemayoevent
IT ALL STARTED IN 1980
ICAN was born in November 1980 from a group of dedicated women in a women’s study class at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. They recognized a need for rape victims to have emergency services and support.
In February 1981, the concept was incorporated as the Women’s Service Center of Chickasha, Inc. During the fall of 1985, the board of directors realized that name was very limiting.
Services were provided across the southwest region of Oklahoma and other states – not only to women, but to children and men as well.
In January 1986, the name was changed to Women’s Service & Family Resource Center.
In 2015, to better reflect all those served, the agency was again re-named, this time to Intervention & Crisis Advocacy Network.
ICAN’s motto is to “Intervene in times of crisis; advocate for victims of abuse; and network throughout the community to end domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.”
ICAN has a Canadian County office in El Reno and Grady County office in Chickasha and is a resource partner at Canadian County’s Cardinal Point, the family justice center spearheaded by several officials across the county to provide a single location for those in need of assistance to obtain it.
A 24-hour crisis line is also available at 1-800-734-4117.