Staff Writer

Members of the Lincoln County Coalition Against Domestic Violence awarded volunteers and praised the community at their annual Domestic Violence Awareness Luncheon on Wednesday afternoon at the Lincoln Cultural Center.

“Our domestic violence awareness luncheon is an opportunity for us to share with our community how domestic violence impacts the lives of those we serve,” LCCADV executive director Robert Dalton said. “It’s not only an opportunity to raise awareness for this vital issue, but also to thank those from our community who have joined with us to help domestic violence victims in Lincoln County. Domestic violence is an issue in our community and one which affects men, women and children from every walk of life. It is a near certainty that everyone in our county, whether we realize it or not, knows someone who is a victim of domestic violence.”

Dalton honored a number of former board members and current staff members who dedicate each day to aiding domestic violence victims. He also gave out four awards for those in the community who have taken substantial time out of their own lives to volunteer in support of the organization.

Cecily Molyneaux, a long-time LCCADV volunteer, was recognized as the 2016 Volunteer of the Year for her work at Amy’s Closet in Denver. Dalton noted that she often dedicates two or three days each week and she is always willing to pitch in even when she isn’t on the schedule.

The Verdict Ridge Ladies Golf Association was presented with the Friends of Amy’s House award for their continued charitable work in an effort to raise money for LCCADV. The ladies hold an annual golf tournament with all proceeds going toward Amy’s House and the Avon Foundation.

The People Helping People award was given to Robin Smith, owner and marketing director of Lake Norman Jeep Chrysler Dodge. Smith was recognized for the work that she has done to assist LCCADV in the provision of non-shelter services.

Delane Clark, who has served LCCADV in nearly every capacity from planning events to stepping in as interim executive director, was presented with the Leadership award. Clark was recognized for personally involving herself in the organization and the lives of the people it serves in such a way as to alter the course of the organization.

The final award of the night included a bouquet of flowers and it was given to a Lincoln County woman named Stephanie who has not only survived years of domestic violence, but is also currently battling cancer. Many in the room familiar with her perseverance in recent years struggled to fight back tears as she accepted her award.

“After years of mental, emotional and physical abuse she trusted a bunch of strangers that she had never met and put her faith in us that we could offer her a better life,” Dalton said. “Our community has rallied around her, particularly in our shelter environment. She has been a rock in our shelter for others, supporting them as they work to rebuild their lives after domestic violence. We wanted to recognize her today for her reaction to the many difficult challenges that she has faced recently. In the face of both domestic abuse and medical problems, Stephanie has not allowed these difficult circumstances to dim her spirit or change who she is.”

Dalton announced that the Mary Kay Foundation has awarded the organization with a grant worth $20,000. The LCCADV has served over 3,000 bed nights in the shelter over the past year and at the moment they are housing 12 or 13 survivors each night.

The LCCADV operates a 24-hour domestic violence crisis line at (704) 736-1224 where victims can access information about domestic violence services or take the first step on their road to a better life beyond domestic abuse.

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