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Sierra LaMar Fundraiser Aims to Help Community Stay Safe

A safety and self-defense workshop that's doubling as a fundraiser for the Sierra LaMar Fund is taking place tonight at 6 p.m. at Ann Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill.

With the community continuing to reel from the disappearance of 15-year-old Morgan Hill resident Sierra LaMar, left and right to provide support to the LaMar family and to help empower the community through the process of trying to find her.

Tonight, men, women, boys and girls ages 6-years-old and up are encouraged to attend the Safety & Self Defense Awareness in Honor of Sierra LaMar fundraiser at Ann Sobrato High School to learn ways to protect themselves while also contributing to the .

According to Amy Porter-Jensen, one of the event's organizers, members of the Morgan Hill Police Department will give a presentation on the importance of cyber safety and answer questions and provide tips about what to do if someone finds themselves in an unsafe situation.

Sgt. Troy Hoefling of the MHPD said that he along with the school's resource officer and a street crime detective will touch on a variety of subjects, from social media and dating safety to cyber bullying and identity theft.

The event will also include instruction in self-defense. Instructors from West Coast World Martial Arts of Hollister, led by owner Mark Preadner, are teaming up with instructors from West Coast Martial Arts of Morgan Hill to lead groups divided up by age and needs through self-defense scenarios.

Porter-Jensen also said that the owner of the Train for Life fitness club in Morgan Hill will be on hand to offer a women's only self-defense workshop.

While no one explicitly told her they wanted an event like this to take place, Porter-Jensen said she could sense the need in the community as well as her own uncertainty about what to tell her children about protecting themselves. 

"I have a 15-year-old daughter and after [Sierra disappeared], I had to sit down with her and tell her what to do in certain situations, like if someone holds a gun up to your head and asks you to get into a car," she said. "It's something I never thought I'd have to talk about with her."

"Sometimes we are concerned with our young children and after 10 or 12 we don't consider that a danger," she continued. "We all need some basic tools because we are all at risk. It could happen to anybody."

Porter-Jensen said that organizers are encouraging everyone to come out for the workshop. She anticipates that about 200 people will attend.

A $10 donation is suggested and all proceeds will go towards the Sierra LaMar Fund, which the LaMar family has been using to put out fliers, posters and .

The Safety & Self Defense Awareness in Honor of Sierra LaMar event is taking place tonight, May 3, at Ann Sobrato High School, located at 401 Burnett Ave., Morgan Hill. The event begins at 6 p.m. and should last about an hour and half. A $10 donation is suggested. 

For previous coverage of the Sierra LaMar case, refer to the Sierra LaMar Disappearance: Comprehensive Updates and Information page.

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