Saint Mary’s Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO), is calling on college students to become advocates for the Family Justice Center of St. Joseph’s County and S-O-S, the county’s Rape Crisis Center. Both are non-profit organizations, committed to offering services to victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking and domestic violence. Classes to become an advocate for the Family Justice Center and S-O-S began Jan. 27. The classes are held 6-9 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday for six weeks.Sexual assault and harassment has been brought into a greater concern and topic of issue in the recent years through new initiatives and forms of modern publicity. It is a topic of controversy and a very difficult topic to discuss for some.“One in four women and one in ten men experiences relationship violence in their lifetime,” BAVO director Connie Adams said. “One in six women and one in 19 men experience stalking in her lifetime. One in six women and one in 33 men have experienced a sexual assault in their lifetime.“These issues significantly impact our communities in America. Due to the impact, response services are critical to the overall health and well-being of communities.”According to Adams, volunteers are crucial to the success of these organizations. Whether they are answering the 24/7 helpline or advocating and supporting victims seeking medical care and forensic examinations at a local hospital, their families and friends. Adams said volunteers also answer phones and complete intakes for clients at the office. They manage social media accounts and help plan, organize and advertise awareness at fundraising events.According to the Family Justice Center website, the organization was established under the administration of George W. Bush as a part of the Family Justice Center Initiative. There are fifteen different centers nationwide including the one in St. Joseph’s County which opened its doors in 2007 to help eradicate all forms of domestic violence. The goal of this initiative is to improve victims access to services.The number of instances of domestic violence and sexual assaults in St. Joseph’s County is significant, Adams said. Local police respond to approximately 8,000 domestic violence calls a year, according to the Family Justice Center website. The Department of Justice speculates that over half of partner violence is not reported to authorities. Overall the Department estimates that there are a total of 16,000 unreported and reported incidents within the county lines each year. According to the Center’s website, victims come from all different social statuses, races and religions. Even so, statistics reveal that most victims are women and most have children.Adams said students will find there are many benefits to volunteering to become an advocate.“It can be a powerful experience contributing to Michiana beyond our campus walls,” Adams said. “For those interested in helping professions, it’s also great exposure to support services.”Tags: BAVO, domestic violence, Family Justice Center, National Stalking Awareness Month, rape, rape crisis center, S-O-S, sexual assault, St. Joseph’s County, Stalking
A generous $200,000 gift from a prominent 4-H alumna and an outpouring of support at the 2019 Georgia 4-H Gala catapulted the fundraising effort to rebuild the Rock Eagle Chapel at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center past its $400,000 goal on Aug. 10.“Georgia 4-H is grateful to Kelly Loeffler for the generous and thoughtful contribution to our Rock Eagle Chapel restoration campaign. Her investment in our organization was an inspiration to all alumni and supporters to be a part of the efforts, and ensured the attainment of our fundraising goal,” said Johnathon Barrett, executive director of the Georgia 4-H Foundation. “This gift is appreciated by all Georgia 4-H’ers and will be for generations to come.”Loeffler is CEO of Bakkt, a regulated, global ecosystem for digital currencies, and a member of the executive team at Intercontinental Exchange, which operates more than a dozen global market infrastructures, including the New York Stock Exchange. She is also co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, the first women-owned professional sports team in Atlanta.Shared memories and stories of 4-H “resonate with so many of us and center in our hearts and minds what 4-H has meant to each of us,” said Loeffler at the Georgia 4-H Gala. “They remind us what each of our experiences have meant to our development and growth. These 4-H projects and our 4-H leaders were really mentors and guides and guideposts that taught us and brought us along in life. There are so many of these wonderful memories which I personally benefited from and continue to benefit from.”Recalling working with her father in the cattle feedlots on her family’s farm in Illinois or sewing and baking with her mother, Loeffler said these memories were lessons that have helped her in the business world.“They also encourage me to think toward the future of 4-H and that was really the reason we wanted to contribute to this effort,” Loeffler said. “As honorary Georgians, we are really proud to be able to contribute to something that looks to the future of 4-H and contributes to this beautiful chapel being restored.”The Rock Eagle Chapel was severely damaged in February due to an electrical fire caused by wildlife damage. Construction on the restoration has begun and is expected to be completed by February 2020, Barrett said.
Are you looking for a race that has offers a home-town experience near a cosmopolitan city? How about a race that was conceived, designed and managed by runners who simply have YOU in mind? Would you like a race that is logistically convenient, making the only worry you have is how well you run? If so, then check us out!Runners Marathon of RestonReston Runners’ sixth annual “Runners Marathon” offers just what you need for your Big Day, whether you’re running our marathon, half marathon or 4-leg relay: on-site parking, quick packet pick up, easy no-cost transfer between events, and a free dinner in the same space. The RMR provides a spacious indoor area for you and your guests to enjoy throughout race day, including showers!Located just 20 miles outside Washington, D.C., Reston is an ideal place to bring along family and friends for a destination weekend.The RMR Has Something For EveryoneThe course features beautiful wooded, paved trails and roads. It’s not flat – bragging rights after this event – but the simple amenities make it a course worth running. We have the best volunteers in the business who steer and cheer you around the course and give you refreshments with a big smile. There’s a live band playing as you finish in style on the stadium track before heading inside to enjoy a festive and delicious meal.Runners Marathon of RestonBrian from New Jersey was delighted with his race in 2017:“I have done many races and was really impressed with the organization… from registration to packet pickup! There were volunteers in every spot along the course where it would have been possible to make a wrong turn, and I loved the lime markings on the trail along the way.”Amanda from Washington DC was thrilled with the RMR’s friendly accommodation when she couldn’t make the pre-race party:“Race day packet pickup was super quick and easy. I had my bib within minutes of arriving on race morning. The indoor venue is comfortable and convenient, “You can hang out inside the school until a few minutes before the race start, so you can stay warm until you need to head over to the start. Bonus points for indoor bathrooms with minimal wait times!”Most of our volunteers are experienced runners from the local club hosting the race, Reston Runners. Here’s a sample of the high marks they receive from our participants:“The volunteers at RMR are the best I’ve ever experienced and one of many highlights of the events!”“Each volunteer was upbeat, fun, engaging, supportive and almost made you want to stop running and spend a bit more time with them because they seemed like such nice people!”Out-of-town participants are very pleased our amenities:“The showers were such a good option to have for those of us driving far afterward, the food afterwards was delicious. What an amazing day! My friends and I are definitely coming back.”For more information, check out www.runnersmarathon.com.