Published: Monday, November 8, 2010
On Saturday, Epsilon Sigma Rho Fraternity Inc. led a group of about 140 Sacramento State men, out of the total 600 community participants, to run in the seventh annual Run for a Safe Haven at William Land Park to protest domestic violence and human trafficking and support the non-profit organization My Sister’s House. The fraternity collected $1,050 in registration donations to give to the non-profit. “We are participating in this event because as men of integrity, respect, and heart for our community, we want to show Sacramento that there are good men out there that are willing to spread domestic violence and human trafficking awareness,” said Paolo San Luis, vice president external and philanthropy chair of Epsilon Sigma Rho. Epsilon Sigma Rho is the first multicultural fraternity in the U.S. established at Sac State. The fraternity is involved in several philanthropic areas, such as fighting against prostate cancer, tutoring high school kids and hosting a multicultural night. Luis chose to become involved with the Run for a Safe Haven because it benefits My Sister’s House, which aids women and children in the Central Valley’s Asian and Pacific Islander community that suffer from domestic abuse. My Sister’s House offers intervention services, safe shelters, and recovery programs for battered women and children. In an effort to raise awareness at the Run for a Safe Haven, My Sister’s House posted signs that mentioned statistics about domestic abuse in America, including the fact that every 15 seconds, one woman is beaten by her husband or partner. Luis is an advocate for the non-profit and recruited his fraternity to support the cause as well. Members from the Sacramento community were also at the run. Dan Baxter, 36, chose to participate in the event not only to support My Sister’s House, but also to take up his hobby of running. “I figured I would combine these two good reasons to come out here today,” Baxter said. Runner Armando Abila, 37, said he was impressed by the amount of people who attended the race. “It’s actually the second one I’ve been to,” Abila said. “It’s for a good cause – helping the kids and helping mothers out there. I think it’s great. The turnout’s awesome; I just can’t believe how many people are out here.” After the race, there were performers, singers and bands to entertain the crowd. Luis and one other fraternity member were one of the performing groups. “We sang our original music and had a guitar, a hand drum and vocals to entertain the crowd,” Luis said. Luis said he was proud of his fraternity and the student community that participated in the race. “As students and members of our community, we must take a stand, lead and the (politicians) will follow,” he said. “We are at the age of intellectual revolution, and there is no room in our society’s future for these crimes. Together, we can spread domestic violence and human trafficking awareness.” Micah Stevenson and Mike Suechting can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.