April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and local San Marcos businesses organized a variety of events to raise money for the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center.
Stonewall Warehouse, Kiva Lounge and Bar and Tantra Coffeehouse hosted free music nights to raise awareness for sexual assault victims and money for the HCWC.
Both Stonewall Warehouse and Kiva Lounge and Bar were sites for an event called Fem Fest, a musical community fundraiser that took place from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. April 15. The event featured eight different bands playing at each venue.
The event was organized by Texas State alumna Kayleigh Soukup.
Soukup said the opportunity to use her passion for music to support a good cause propelled her to organize the shows.
“I’ve always wanted to do something with music to help my community and to help people,” Soukup said. “So to be able to do that and get people to come out was a good feeling.”
Soukup had prior experience on a similar project. She raised money through music for the Bobcat Pride Scholarship Fund in 2014, but said the the size of this event was different.
“This year I wanted to get more people involved, so a bunch of different bands and solo artists and I recorded an album and this was the release party for it. All proceeds went to the women’s center,” Soukup said.
Tantra held its own benefit, Live and Local: A Nigh Benefiting Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, April 8 to raise money for theHCWC as part of a project put together by Texas State students and the owners of the coffeehouse.
“It’s something that was easy to support, something that we would do anyways, but it’s a cause that was dear to these artists, and it’s something that we believe in,” said Adam Lilley, Tantra co-owner.
Lilley said part of his motivation for hosting the event is how “underfunded and over utilized” the women’s center is.
The coffeehouse hosted a night of music with four bands and a raffle. The proceeds were donated to the HCWC.
The HCWC also had volunteers set up a table at Tantra the night of the event to collect donations and pass out educational pamphlets to those interested in learning about the work the center does for victims of abuse.
Leighann Gardner, Texas State alumna and employee at Tantra Coffeehouse, helped organize the event with her friends.
“We’ve been trying to host more events at Tantra,” Gardner said. “Being able to help my bosses with that responsibility was something I was fine with, especially because it was for a good cause.”
The HCWC is a nonprofit organization that serves victims of abuse in the area by providing shelter, counseling, crisis intervention and educational services.
For more information on the HCWC, visit the site at www.hcwc.org or call 512-396-4357.