A raging good time might not be all that unusual at Rusty’s Surf Ranch, but this month, the popular local bar upgraded the traditional night on the town to support a good cause.
Rusty’s hosted a new kind of event, a FundRager as a Party to Protect Women’s Rights.
Jordon Heskett, Assistant General Manager at Rusty’s and Rebecca Grites sparked the idea of a FundRager and were the lead organizers.
“It was around the time Trump, Pence, and Ryan were slamming women’s health rights and were proposing ways to de-fund Planned Parenthood for good,” said Grites.
She called some of her closet friends and felt it was necessary to make a statement. After attending the Women’s March in January she knew hosting a FundRager would be her next great move.
“Aside from the fact that there is a local Planned Parenthood center in Santa Monica, the city is one where tourists and locals love to flock to,” said Grites. “It’s an ideal location to get a real mix of American culture, so I was very excited and intrigued to see if the majority of patrons head to the Pier and to Rusty’s.”
The event had around 100 local men and women, and all proceeds from the event went to Planned Parenthood LA Chapter.
The LA Chapter of Planned Parenthood made an appearance and provided tax paperwork for those who wanted to include their donation at tax time. The organization also provided some informational materials.
With four hours of FundRaging, Rusty’s was able to raise a little over $1,000. Heskett explained the event wasn’t so much about the amount of money they could raise rather about bringing awareness to women’s right and starting a conversation.
“Raising awareness of importance is just as valuable as raising money,” said Grites.
Rusty’s isn’t the only one making noise about women’s health care. Santa Monica native Claire Krizman is speaking up and taking a stand for women’s rights.
Krizman attended Franklin Elementary and Lincoln Middle School and attended Winward School in Mar Vista. She now attends Southern Methodist University in Texas.
“Santa Monica is a wonderful bubble but that was something I wanted to escape for college,” said Krizman. “I wanted to go see something totally different and Texas is totally different.”
Different is exactly what she saw. In the first week of April, a pro-life student group called Mustangs for Life organized small wooden crosses on the campus lawn.
“Each cross symbolizes a ‘dead baby’. The 2500 crosses show the 2500 abortions that are had ever day,” said Krizman. “I am all about free speech but at some point it seemed as it was a shaming demonstration.”
Krizman saw no one was relaying information to students about abortions and the options women have. She decided to take action and started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Planned Parenthood.
“Orginially the goal was to raise $2,500. Making it a dollar for every cross, but the page ended up going viral. We received $2,500 in twelve hours,” said Krizman.
In one month she was able to raise $14,165, and she has also started a new student group, called Mustangs for Unity.
The goal is simply to work to eliminate the need for abortions by educating and informing women. She believes in showing support rather than shame.
“We are focusing on abortions but in our demonstration we are focused on the woman behind the abortion. Supporting her, and her story and why she felt the need to have an abortion,” said Krizman.
The school has received much media especially in a time where the President is suggesting cutting Planned Parenthood funds.
As of now Krizman is doing her best to make a statement and fight for women’s rights and health care.
For more information about Planned Parenthood and their educational services you can visit, https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-los-angeles . To support either Santa Monica locals you can visit Claire Krizman’s GoFundMe page, https://www.gofundme.com/SMUPP , or you can contact Rusty’s Surf Ranch at http://www.rustyssurfranch.com/.