Special to The Hays Daily News

On Saturday, a sold out crowd at the Robbins Center on the Fort Hays State University campus participated in the Jana's Campaign annual fundraising event, Empty Place at the Table. The event raised more than $33,000, more than doubling last year's amount.

"Empty Place at the Table is quickly becoming one of the premier gala events in the Hays community," said Kelley Parker of Jana's Campaign. "This event raises awareness and needed funds for our critical work of reducing domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking."

This year's theme also recognized the five-year anniversary of Jana's Campaign and celebrated its program successes.

"To be in a room packed full of people that not only understand why prevention of gender-based violence is so important, but are fully committed to making a difference in unbelievably inspiring," said Curt Brungardt, Jana's Campaign president. "We will be able to accomplish great things with the funds raised this evening."

Jana's Campaign is Hays-based national educational and gender-based violence prevention organization created in honor of the late Jana Mackey of Hays. Mackey, a 25-year old law student at the University of Kansas, was killed by an ex-boyfriend in 2008.