Safe Connections recently celebrated four decades of serving the St. Louis Community at the Four Seasons St. Louis for their 40th Anniversary Gala celebration. The night to remember paid tribute to the organizations 40 years of listening, understanding and guiding; 40 years of helping, being present and empowering; 40 years of counseling, mentoring and teaching. The event included cocktails, dinner presentation, entertainment and fund the cause. Current Executive Director Susan Kidder and past Executive Director Barbara Bennett greeted the more than 330 guests attending the event. Danne Delano severed as the steering committee chair and Ellen Sherberg was the honorary gala chair. Former Safe Connections client and award-winning author of a compelling memoir on overcoming abuse, Lindsay Fischer was the featured speaker. Founding members were honored for their vision, initiative and perseverance in starting the nonprofit. Members in attendance were Sandy Baker, Geri Redden, Cheryl Robinson and Roz Sherman Voellinger. News anchor Kim Hudson was the emcee for the evening. Safe Connections Community Partners Legacy Award were presented to Edward Jones, Ekon Benefits and the Kowalczyk Family, The Green Goose Resale and Consignment Shop and Owner Robin McNabb, United Way of Greater St. Louis. These organizations and their leaders have supported Safe Connections generously and loyally for decades by playing a strong role in being a strong voice against domestic and sexual violence. Proceeds from the Anniversary Gala will continue to fund programs that help the fulfill Safe Connections mission of reducing the impact and incidence of relationship violence and sexual assault through education, crisis intervention, counseling and support services. For more information about Safe Connections visit www.safeconnections.org.
“We have come a long way since our founding in 1976 as a Women’s Self Help Center. We’ve grown tremendously since those wonderful early years, always with a laser-light focus on ending rape and abuse,” said Kidder. “As we continue to expand, counseling once provided to women is now also offered to teen girls and boys, men and those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. Crisis support once provided by telephone is now also provided in person. Prevention education once provided to high schoolers is now offered to those in middle school and one college campuses across the region. We’re so proud of how we’ve grown. We will keep growing and evolving to meet the needs of those who are counting on us.”