Color purple has a purpose

EVERETT — One of Snohomish County’s best known landmarks, the twin masts atop Everett’s Comcast Arena, will be bathed in a purple glow this month as part of a national domestic violence awareness campaign.

“It was a big surprise to us,” said Vicci Hilty, deputy director of Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County. “We’re honored that they’d be so kind to think of us.”

The lighting of the twin masts, which can be seen from I-5, “sends a message,” Hilty said.

The organization works hard to get out the word that help is available, she said. “But the thought of the purple light shining out on the horizon like that is just amazing,” Hilty said. “It says a lot about our community and our county.”

The organization provides services to women and men.

During the past 12 months, the nonprofit received 4,400 phone calls to its hotline and provided emergency housing to 176 women and 95 children.

It’s only the second time since the arena opened in October 2003 that the twin masts have had special lighting, said Tami Bryant Olson, the arena’s director of marketing. During last year’s Skate America event, “we did one red and one blue.”

Although purple has become the color associated internationally with domestic violence campaigns, it was a woman in Covington, a town near Auburn, who first began a campaign for “purple light nights” in 2007. It has since spread to 14 states, Olson said.

In addition to the special lighting on the building, the arena will hold a series of fundraising events for Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County.

They include the sale of purple ribbons to tie on a purple hockey net during Everett Silvertips games on Wednesday, Sunday and Oct. 14, and a benefit public skate from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. on Friday.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486, salyer@heraldnet.com.

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