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Having a COW will help ALIVE

POULSBO — Though he’s helped people cure everything from headaches to indigestion, Charlie DeWilde said he still encounters those who are wary of chiropractic care.

Just the same, DeWilde said he’s noticed people often don’t like to talk about domestic violence though it’s something that impacts lives every day.

Next week, he’s hoping that a special event at his Liberty Bay Chiropractic & Massage will be a perfect meld of the two topics — making people feel better through chiropractic and stopping domestic violence in the North Kitsap community.

The chiropractic center, which opened about a year ago at Plaza 305 near Azteca, will be holding a Chiropractic Opportunity Week (COW) Feb. 7-12. Community members can schedule an exam and X-ray, which usually cost about $100, for $25 and can add a spouse for $10.

But besides a low-cost opportunity to be introduced to chiropractic care, the event will also be a chance to help domestic violence victims. Every fee paid during the COW event will go directly to the YWCA of Kitsap County’s Bainbridge Island/North Kitsap Alternatives to Living In a Violent Environment (ALIVE) program.

“I think most people have thought about going to the chiropractor but they don’t understand it,” DeWilde commented. “So this is a great way to introduce people to chiropractic and also what the ALIVE program is doing.”

The idea of a COW benefiting ALIVE is something DeWilde has been pondering since moving to North Kitsap. He previously practiced chiropractic care in California, where one of his clients was the director of a battered women’s shelter. Through that client, he had the chance to visit the shelter and see the faces of the problem first-hand.

“It kind of opened my eyes — the fact that (the shelter) was used every day,” DeWilde recalled. “Fortunately, it’s something I’ve never experienced but I know it goes on and I know it goes unreported.”

DeWilde said he hopes to be able to hold fund-raisers for ALIVE on a fairly regular basis from now on.

The ALIVE program is based on Bainbridge Island but serves families across North Kitsap. The center primarily answers calls from people living in abusive situations and provides food, clothing, confidential and safe shelter, legal advice and advocacy, education and local support groups for victims. Program director for ALIVE Jackie Aitchison said fund-raisers like the one next week make a big difference in her non-profit’s ability to offer its free services. A majority of the agency’s funding comes from the state, however, she said there are still many needs that would go unmet without the generosity of the community.

Moreover, Aitchison added, though a large number of ALIVE’s clients are from North Kitsap, staff still struggle to educate locals about their presence. She commented that the chance for exposure like the COW event is always helpful.

“You’re taking the time to become enlightened about this subject and that is worth a lot more than just the monetary issue,” Aitchison told DeWilde at a recent meeting to plan the COW. “The more people know about it and the more people talk about it, the more knowledge there is and we can have all these partners in the community.”

During COW, Liberty Bay Chiropractic will also have refreshments available throughout the business day and a table of information with information about ALIVE and domestic violence issues. Though reservations for chiropractic care are recommended, DeWilde said staff will do their best to accommodate walk-ins and he encourages anyone interested in learning about either chiropractic or ALIVE to just drop by.

“It’ll be a fun event all week,” he said.

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