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 to someone who exemplifies these qualities. Sandi Mayou had provided exemplary care and service to victims when they entered the emergency department at Avera St. Luke’s. Sandi had the most beautiful smile and warmth that made you feel naturally comfortable. A few years ago Sandi joined Safe Harbor’s Community Response Team because she had begun the process of becoming a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), later working toward being certified. She also helped to encourage other nurse’s to become SANE trained either by assisting in education or just pure encouragement. Sandi really felt this was an important part of better serving victims in her role as a nurse. Unfortunately, Sandi passed away in January of 2021 so the award was presented to Sandi’s husband, Stacy, in her honor.