On April 27th, 2012, CONNSACS held its annual meeting at the Inn at Middletown. In attendance were Governor Malloy and First Lady Cathy Malloy, CONNSACS staff, member program representatives, and community allies. The meeting was an opportunity to elect the CONNSACS board, celebrate the work of sexual assault crisis services programs, and present awards to two individuals who have been working to end sexual violence in Connecticut.
Following the business meeting, First Lady Cathy Malloy received the NSVRC Visionary Voice Award, which highlights individuals whose outstanding prevention work is making a significant impact in their communities. Cathy served as Executive Director of The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education in Stamford for ten years before moving to Hartford and becoming CEO of the Greater Hartford Arts Council. As Connecticut’s First Lady, Cathy has continued to advocate for the prevention of sexual assault. CONNSACS was honored to nominate the First Lady for this national award, which was given to twenty individuals throughout the country. Following the award presentation, Cathy Malloy addressed attendees as the event’s guest speaker.
The second award presented at the meeting was the Gail Burns-Smith Dare to Dream Scholarship/Stipend Award, which was given to Krystal Rich from the YWCA New Britain Sexual Assault Crisis Services. The Dare to Dream Award is named for Gail Burns-Smith, who served as the Executive Director of CONNSACS for 22 years. The award is given annually to an individual whose work or study in the field of sexual violence most exemplifies Gail’s commitment to its public awareness, education, prevention and advocacy on behalf of victims/survivors. Krystal Rich received the award for her dedicated work at the New Britain SACS as well as her strong history of advocacy at Central Connecticut State University.