Special to The Hays Daily News

TOPEKA -- Local Hays service agency Soroptimist International of Hays was awarded the Community Ally of the Year Award by the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence

Soroptimist International of Hays was nominated for the award by Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence Services.

Olivia Becker, president of Soroptimist International of Hays, accepted the award on the club’s behalf at KCSDV’s 11th annual Safe Homes, Safe Streets Awareness event during the Sunflower Safety Breakfast on Feb. 13 in Topeka

Since 1995, KCSDV has been recognizing outstanding advocates and allies who are working to enhance victim safety, to increase perpetrator accountability, and to prevent and eliminate sexual and domestic violence, dating violence and stalking in Kansas.

"Soroptimist International of Hays has been an ally to our agency and work for over 20 years," said Charlotte Linsner, executive director of Options.

Options serves victims of domestic, sexual, dating and stalking violence in Cheyenne, Decatur,

Ellis, Gove, Graham, Logan, Norton, Osborne, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks,

Russell, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Thomas, Trego and Wallace counties.

“Soroptimist mission of providing public service to the community is solidified through their many projects, which include education and mobilization, awareness and prevention efforts, leadership, and helping Options continue to provide domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy services,” Linsner said. “They are extremely dedicated women who support Options and the betterment of life for victims.”

“Options employs a small staff with a huge service area of 18 counties in northwest Kansas,” said Joyce Grover, executive director of KCSDV. “Soroptimist International of Hays continues to support Options, helping advocates provide life-saving services to victims.   It is this type of community service organization that deserves the Community Ally of the Year Award.”  

Soroptimist International of Hays regularly helps Options with their community service, education and awareness events, including the annual garage sale, the Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event on Fort Hays State University campus, the educational Summit: Confronting Violence in Our Communities, annual financial contributions and more.

“Options’ board of directors and staff cannot begin to thank each and every Soroptimist member for their dedication to our agency, willingness to act when asked, and their understanding of victims’ needs.  We congratulate them on receiving the 2014 Ally of the Year Award from KCSDV,” Linsner said.