The annual Candlelight Vigil to bring awareness to the impact of domestic violence on families and society and to honor the victims of abuse was held Aug. 24 at Putnam County Middle School.
Sponsored by the Putnam County Family Violence Task Force, Mothers Against Crime and The Circle of Love Center, PCHS cheerleaders joined volunteers on the field, forming a circle of light as they held up their candles.
Some of the supporters in the circle included LaToshia Maddox, director of the Eatonton-Putnam County Senior Center; Paula Allison, of Circle of Love; Georgia Benjamin Smith, of Mothers Against Crime; Pat Welch, of the Eatonton Police Department; Judge Patrice Underkofler; and Chairman-elect of the Board of Commissioners Billy Webster.
Putnam County Solicitor Russell Thomas spoke to the crowd at Al Reaves Field just before Friday’s football game.
Defining domestic violence, Thomas said it is abuse or behavior to gain and maintain control over a partner. Besides the physical assault most associated with domestic violence, that abuse can also include isolation, stalking and emotional abuse.
From the press box, high above the football field, Lucille Crawford of the Eatonton Police Department prayed for the victims and the families who have suffered at the hands of their loved ones.
“Renew a right spirit in us, Lord,” Crawford prayed. “Help husbands to love their wives, give them wisdom and peace.”
Putnam County High School Dean of Students Pamela Young, meanwhile, sang a song of praise in their honor from the press box.
After the prayer and song ended and before supporters blew out their candles, hometown supporters of the Putnam County War Eagles as well as Temple Tigers fans and cheerleaders clapped and cheered in honor.