The Family Crisis Center of Catoosa, Walker, Dade and Chattooga Counties is planning a number of upcoming community events for Domestic Violence Awareness month in October.

According to director Kristy Lawson, the center will offer free self-defense classes soon and host a Tea Party/Fashion Show fundraiser.

“We have a lot of great things coming up in October, and we’re just trying to do our part to educate the community about domestic violence and abuse,” Lawson said. “It can affect so many people and their children and families.”

The self-defense classes, which were a big hit last fall, will be offered at several facilities between Oct. 8 and 19, in all four counties.

“The instructor is Larry Scott, and he really does a great job of breaking down the class for anybody who wants to attend,” Lawson said. “The classes aren’t just for women. It’s for women, men, children — whomever wants to come. It is not a class teaching you how to attack, but how to avoid and defend if you find yourself in an aggressive situation.”

The first class will be held in Catoosa County from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School gym on Battlefield Parkway.

For more information about the center in general or the upcoming events for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, visit the center online at

The second will take place in Chattooga County from 6-8 p.m. at the Summerville Civic Center; the third in Walker County from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 15 at Oakwood Baptist Church in Chickamauga; and the fourth to be held in Dade County at the Trenton Commission building from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 19.

The “Tea & Trends” Fashion Show event will be held at the Walker County Civic Center on Saturday, Oct. 10, at noon.

Lawson says the fundraiser will include the fashion show, lunch, prizes, entertainment, and a silent auction.

“It was a great fundraiser for us last year and we’re excited about having the event again,” Lawson said. “We’re being sponsored by Cato in Fort Oglethorpe. … They’re being great in helping us with the clothes.”

Lawson says the event is a commemorative effort to bring awareness to the life of Theresa Parker, a Walker County 911 dispatcher who was killed by her husband in 2007.

“We’ve wanted to do something to honor Theresa for a long time, and we’re excited to finally be doing that,” she said. “We don’t want people to forget what happened to her.”

In addition to the October events, the center is already planning on its big Mystery Dinner Show fundraiser that’ll be held tentatively in April 2016.

Last year the sheriffs from the four counties, along with numerous other community officials and law enforcement members, performed the “A Night at the Oscars” Mystery Dinner Show, which garnered more than $20,000 for the center.

“Our March dinner show was great, and everybody loved it so much. … We’re already working on the planning so that we can have the same type of event,” Lawson said.

Adam Cook has been a reporter with the Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., since 2009. He currently covers crime and courts, Ringgold and Fort Oglethorpe city government, education, and arts and entertainment.

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