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SAFE Harbor awards honorees

News from SAFE Harbor

RONAN — Honoring those who have done well never goes out of fashion. In recognition of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, SAFE Harbor on Oct. 14 took the chance to formally honor a group of local citizens who have made a difference in the community by demonstrating exemplary professionalism and commitment to those impacted by violence. 

This year’s honorees included community activist Eleanor Vizcarra, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Detective and Coroner Rick Lenz, PEACE founder Bonnie Klein, Lake County Detention Officer John Todd, Ronan Police Officer James Garcia and CSKT Prosecutor Kelly McDonald.

For her outstanding service to numerous programs, Vizcarra was selected to be a 2015 Community Honoree. She was a founder and has been a Co-Chair for the Women 4 Wellness Annual Health Fair since 2009; she spearheaded a local Meth Awareness and Prevention Project and has served with the Friends of Regional Parks and Trails known as FORPAT.

Officer Lenz has demonstrated a level of professional dedication and personal compassion for victims and families navigating the criminal justice system that is inspiring. He is known for his high level of commitment to each client and takes the time to always listen. 

Klein was selected based on her work in establishing and serving as the Executive Director for non-profit, PEACE (Prevention and Education of Abuse in Christian Environments). She has conducted extensive outreach and education on behalf of her program in the last year. 

Officer Todd has shown an awareness of victim trauma through his work. His kind attitude and supporting nature set a model for others in the field, according to his nomination. Although he has only been with the Ronan Police Department for a year, Officer Garcia has made it a point to learn all he can about services, resources and legal options for victims. One nominee described him as “that type of person who is always willing to ask questions, seek advice and take the time required to best serve a victim.”

Prosecutor McDonald has established a record of advocacy for victims, showing “tenacity, passion and a deep understanding of the real face of domestic violence.”

Annually, SAFE Harbor seeks nominees from the community of individuals who have stepped forth to help break the cycle of violence. Nominees come from many different agencies and programs, including churches, government departments, education, health care, law enforcement, the justice system and other non-profits. Those providing the nomination submit a brief written summary telling why their nominee is a hometown hero. 

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