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Harrisburg, U.S.A - In its first year, Direct Energy and The Patriot-News’ 2012 Harrisburg Volunteer Citizen of the Year award is honoring Nancy Chavez of Camp Hill, PA. Chavez founded “Randi’s Race: A 5K Run and Walk for Courage” in honor of her beloved daughter, Randi, who was tragically murdered in 2005 as a result of domestic violence. Chavez, a survivor of domestic violence herself, has since then devoted her life to raising money, creating awareness and speaking on behalf of victims of domestic violence.
Since its inception, Randi’s Race has raised over $245,000 for Domestic Violence Services in Cumberland and Perry Counties. All proceeds go to providing counseling, emergency shelters, and legal advocacy and outreach programs for domestic violence victims.
Most recently, some of those proceeds have helped to fundraise for Chavez’s newest endeavor: Randi’s House of Angels. Chavez created Randi’s House of Angels in 2011 not only to help cope with her own healing, but to provide a healing place for others that are victims of or exposed to domestic violence. Randi’s House of Angels offers support, therapy and counseling to victims.
In February of 2007, Chavez formed a group called “Restoring Our Souls” (ROS), a support group for mothers and other family members that have lost a loved one to domestic violence. ROS is the first group of its kind in Harrisburg and Chavez uses her own personal experience to help others cope with their loss.
Continuing her crusade against domestic violence, she also established Randi’s Camp for Hope, an organization specifically for children that are affected by domestic violence in their homes. Through educational, interpersonal and fun activities, children engage in activities designed to increase their self-esteem, self-concept and confidence in their own abilities. Randi’s Camp of Hope empowers children to believe that their thoughts, feelings and actions are important, worthy of expression and that they are valuable contributors to the whole family unit.
By winning the Harrisburg Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award, Nancy will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a $5,000 donation to Randi’s House of Angels. The donation will be used to hire licensed therapists that specialize in working with children who are victims of domestic violence or have had a family member murdered as a result of domestic violence. Additionally, for adult victims, attorneys will be hired to provide legal representation in custody and divorce hearings.
“Nancy has been through a horrific tragedy that no parent should ever have to face. Her perseverance to overcome and honor her daughter’s memory and help her community is truly remarkable,” said Cory Byzewski, Vice President and General Manager for Direct Energy US North Residential.
Lee Carlson, General Manager for the Patriot-News said, “We received a lot of outstanding nominations and they were all very admirable but Nancy’s story about how she is using her heartbreak to help others is nothing short of amazing. We are honored to be able to help her in her campaign to end domestic violence.”
A special event honoring Nancy Chavez will be held at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building Rotunda on Monday, June 4, 2012.