Contact: Cheryl Wittke, Executive Director, Safe Communities at 608-256-6713

11th Annual BeSafe Awards to Recognize Community Safety Champions

Six community safety leaders will be recognized this evening at the 11th Annual BeSafe Awards.

Sponsored by Safe Communities, a local nonprofit safety and injury prevention coalition, BeSafe award recipients were nominated by community members and selected for recognition based upon their outstanding contributions to community safety.

Public Health Madison and Dane County will also receive Safe Communities America’s Community Safety Leader Award during the event. Safe Communities of Madison and Dane County identified Public Health as local designee for this award in recognition of Public Health’s role in formation of Safe Communities in 1999 and ongoing leadership of coalition activities. Safe Communities America will be sharing information about this and other awards given in communities across the country as part of its ten year anniversary celebration series.

2017 BeSafe Award recipients are:

Advocacy: Romilia Schlueter, Supporting Families Together Association. Ms Schlueter’s voice is famous among listeners of her radio program, Apoyando Familias Aprendiendo Juntos, on Madison’s LaMovida Radio, where she shares essential information and support for area families on a variety of topics, including safety.

Innovation: Chuck Lovelace, Essential Shooting Supplies. Mr. Lovelace has led local efforts and is first in the state to adopt the Gun Shop Project, an educational campaign for gun shop operators and consumers to prevent suicide.

Collaboration: Dane County Safe Sleep Faith-Based Champions. A partnership of 10 area African American Churches with UW Health and SAFE KIDS Madison Area to promote safe sleep practices and prevent Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID).

Leadership: Representative John Nygren, Wisconsin State Assembly and author of the HOPE (Heroin Opiate Prevention and Education) agenda. Representing Rep. Nygren will be staff member Chris Borgerding.

Founder’s: Ernie Stetenfeld, CEO and Executive Director, Society of St. Vincent DePaul of Madison. Mr. Stetenfeld was a founding steering committee and board member who played a lead role in formation and growth of Safe Communities and community collaboration to prevent injury.

Safe Communities is an 18 year-old nonprofit injury prevention coalition of over 300 members working together to prevent Dane County’s top causes of injury and injury-related death: drug overdose, suicide, elder falls and traffic crashes. A member of Safe Communities America and the Pan Pacific Safe Communities Network, Safe Communities of Madison and Dane County is recognized as a model program that meets the highest standards of injury prevention programming.

Today’s BeSafe Awards on-site registration begins at 4 PM; program is 4:30 – 6:30 PM at Maple Bluff Country Club, 500 Kensington. Registration fee is $50. All are welcome.

11th Annual BeSafe Awards Gold Sponsors ($5,000) are AAA Wisconsin and Madison Gas and Electric; Silver Sponsor ($2,500) UW Health and Quartz; Bronze Sponsors ($1,000) Rogers Memorial Hospital, Ryan Brothers Ambulance and WEA Trust.

Special thanks to Safe Communities Sustaining Partners: Lifesaver level ($20,000 and above): Dane County, City of Madison and American Family Insurance; Hero level ($10,000 and above): Rich and Amy Steffen and Fire Fighters Local 311; First Responder level ($5,000 and above): SSM Health, UnityPoint Health-Meriter and Mad City Police Hockey.

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