In 2021, the NESD Family Violence Prevention Committee wanted to begin an annual recognition of someone who has dedicated themselves in providing services to victims of assault. The award honors the dedicated champions throughout our communities whose efforts honor individuals resulting in positive changes in the lives of crime victims. The chosen title of this award is Wings of Hope because we hear in stories either that we have read or heard ourselves from survivors that as they have left and began thriving outside of their abusive situation is that they felt they were starting to grow their wings like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.
The first recipient of this award was Sandi Mayou. Sandi provided exemplary care and service to victims when they entered the emergency department at Avera St. Luke’s. Sandi was a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner that also helped to encourage other nurses to become SANE trained either by assisting in education or just pure encouragement. Unfortunately, Sandi passed away in January of 2021 so the award was presented to Sandi’s husband, Stacy, in her honor.
In 2022, the recipient of the Wings of Hope Award was Chris White. Chris was the prosecutor of the case study that was presented at the 2022 conference. Both in this case and the others that Chris prosecuted, he ensured that victim’s voices were heard and their rights were upheld. Chris was the Brown County State’s Attorney until 2020 before transitioning to private practice.