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Safe Voices recognizes community heroes
REGION -- On October 20, Safe Voices held their annual meeting to celebrate a year of accomplishments and recognize the work of community partners throughout Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin Counties. This year three community members and organizations were honored as Community Heroes.
Jerry Cayer, executive vice president of Franklin Community Health Network, responded to the 2011 domestic violence homicides with No Excuses: A Call to Men, an initiative to engage men against domestic violence in Franklin County. He was also instrumental in offering ownership of the Farmington office building to Safe Voices free of cost.
Jolene Lovejoy took the reins when the townspeople of Rumford voted to not give funds to Safe Voices, resulting in a $4,000 shortfall for the agency. The vote was a result of confusion over Safe Voices name change. In response, Jolene spearheaded a private fundraising drive in Rumford , opening a bank account to give people a place to donate. Because of the publicity, the Women’s Auxiliary of the American Legion also held a fundraiser for Safe Voices.
The Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic (CLAC), an arm of the USM Law School, is an asset to Safe Voices and the individuals that we serve. They have represented Safe Voices clients in hearings and family matters cases concerning domestic violence for over 10 years. The program has given hundreds of future lawyers knowledge of and sensitivity to domestic violence, while making the court process more bearable for their clients. Many thanks go to Jim Burke, Chris Northrop, Tina Schneider, Deirdre Smith and the students that have done a remarkable job.
Others recognized included Sharon Lewis, Safe Voices Transitional Services Coordinator, Jessica Dorr, Safe Voices Franklin County Community Educator, and Melody Currier, Helpline Volunteer.