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Cover - SafeSpace announces annual Volunteer Awards
Stuart News - 6/19/2017
SafeSpace, the only certified domestic violence center on the Treasure Coast, recently honored its many dedicated volunteers during the organization's annual appreciation luncheon.
"The effort and dedication from our entire group of volunteers has played a fundamental role in saving and changing the lives of those affected by domestic violence throughout the Treasure Coast. Thanks to the help of our committed volunteers and staff, SafeSpace served more than 3,000 victims and their children and provided over 15,000 safe nights of shelter in the past year," said SafeSpace CEO Jill Borowicz.
The luncheon included a presentation of the Douglass and Patricia Stewart SafeSpace Volunteer of the Year Award to Linda Hengerer of Vero Beach. Hengerer has worn every hat possible, from serving on the board of directors to participating in annual event committees and leading volunteer groups. She rises to the occasion without hesitation whenever and wherever needed, including serving an extended term as board president, meeting with donors and funding groups, manning tables at community events, encouraging others to step up against domestic violence and advocating for those who cannot speak for themselves. Her devotion to SafeSpace has made Hengerer an invaluable advocate for the organization and the victims and children served.
Dr. Jack Mitchell
Dr. Jack Mitchell of Port St. Lucie was the St. Lucie County Volunteer of the Year. Mitchell has displayed the utmost dedication and understanding of SafeSpace's mission, increasing awareness throughout the community and connecting the organization to various people, businesses and groups over the years. He is a faithful board member who appreciates and recognizes his organizational responsibilities and has also helped to secure funding in support of SafeSpace's efforts to save and change lives.
The Martin County Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Barbara Farley of Stuart. Farley has been influential in creating and sustaining an edible garden at the shelter. She sought out, applied for, and received grant funding to further develop the garden into a means of nourishment for families at the shelter. Farley's other efforts include volunteering at community events and SafeSpace's annual Santa Shoppe.
The Indian River County Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Angela Novak of Vero Beach. Novak fosters greater awareness of SafeSpace's mission through many efforts including developing and hosting various fundraisers at her restaurants, Filthy's Fine Cocktails & Beer and Southern Social in Vero. She has a personal understanding and appreciation of the important work SafeSpace does and has dedicated herself to paying it forward.
Another notable volunteer received recognition as Thrift Shoppe Volunteer of the Year. The SafeSpace Thrift Shoppe, which is a significant source of revenue for the organization, depends on strong, dedicated volunteers to drive its success. The award was presented to Terri Turner of Port St Lucie. Turner was nominated by her fellow volunteers because of her positive attitude, willingness to help others, sense of humor and dedication to the SafeSpace mission. Terri is a vital part of the Thrift Shoppe team.
Major David Thompson
Major David Thompson of the St. Lucie Sheriff's Office was recognized as the Outstanding Board Member of the Year. Each October he steps up against domestic violence, not just as a representative for SafeSpace, but as a community leader, law enforcement officer, and father. He shares his passion for volunteering and the SafeSpace mission with his family by encouraging his young son to participate in the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event as well as coordinating a holiday toy drive for the children in all of the SafeSpace programs. Thompson has served in a leadership role on the Board of Directors for five years and has carried that into the community by connecting others to the organization and ensuring a strengthened and continued partnership with local law enforcement.
As a nonprofit organization, SafeSpace relies on the support of its volunteers to assist with the numerous programs and services offered to victims and families affected by domestic violence. SafeSpace volunteers serve in many capacities including: assisting in our programs; planning events and hosting fundraisers; coordinating activities with the mothers and children at the SafeSpace shelter; supporting retail operations at the Thrift Shoppe and various other responsibilities.
"We could not accomplish our mission without the work of our loyal volunteers. I'm proud beyond words to have these award winners and ALL of our volunteers as our SafeSpace community advocates," Borowicz said.
The mission of SafeSpace
SafeSpace is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates programs in Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River counties where families can escape to a safe environment. SafeSpace offers victims of domestic violence safety, support and education, empowering them to create an independent life free from violence.
Emergency shelter, supportive living, and outreach programs and services are available for victims throughout the Treasure Coast. SafeSpace offers services to all victims of domestic violence and their dependents regardless of race, gender, age, religion, political belief, national origin, immigration status, physical or mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation or language spoken. To learn more about SafeSpace, please visit www.safespacefl.org, call 772-223-2399 or connect with SafeSpace on Facebook at www.facebook.com/safespacefl.
On the Cover:
Tracy Levy, SafeSpace director of Development; Linda Hengerer, Volunteer of the Year; Janet Farnan-Dyer, SafeSpace Resource & Volunteer coordinator