February 6, 2018
YWCA Central Alabama recently welcomed a new Board president, celebrated the accomplishments of 2017 and honored Judge Sandra Storm for her impact on the lives of domestic violence victims and children in crisis.
It all happened at the agency’s recent 2017 Annual Meeting, attended by current and past Board and Junior Board members, community leaders and YW supporters.
Outgoing Board President Brenda Hackney passed the torch to Maggie Brooke, a longtime Board member and volunteer.
“We are so grateful for the leadership Brenda has provided the past three years and know that Maggie will continue to move the YW forward as we work every day to bring women, children and families in crisis to wholeness,” CEO Yolanda Sullivan said. “We are fortunate to have so many compassionate and dedicated women on our Board and Junior Board. Their commitment is unrivaled and their impact is far-reaching.”
Hackney welcomed new Board members Sherry Anthony, Corlette Burns, Dana Cockrell, Leigh Davis, Tammy Fincher, Apryl Fort-Kelly, Ricki Kline, Erin Stephenson, Kelly Styslinger and Gwen Swain. She also thanked outgoing Board members Nancy Burton, Lynn LaRussa, Andrea McCaskey, Laura Poston and Valerie Thomas for their service.
In addition, Judge Sandra Storm was named the 2017 Jeana P. Hosch Woman of Valor. The award is presented each year to an extraordinary woman who has worked tirelessly to care for children and families in our community.
“If you look up the word ‘valor,’ you’ll find synonyms like courage, heart, boldness, spunk and moxie,” said Poston, who introduced Storm. “You may as well find a picture of our 2017 honoree because Judge Sandra Storm truly fits the bill.”
A former District Court and Circuit Court judge in Jefferson County Family Court, Storm presided over child abuse and neglect cases as well as domestic violence cases, and she implemented the process that allowed domestic violence victims to obtain Protection from Abuse orders against their batterers without an attorney. After retirement, she helped start the YWCA’s Safe Haven Supervised Visitation and Exchange Center.
The center, which ensures that children can have safe contact with an absent parent without being put in the middle of adult conflicts, is focused on safety. Off-duty Birmingham police officers provide security, and there are separate entrances, parking lots and waiting rooms for victims and batterers.
“This program literally saves lives, and we are grateful to Judge Storm for her role in making it a reality,” Poston said.
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