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Crime Survivors, Children’s Champions, And Outstanding Service Providers Saluted

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Tuolumne, CA — Several members of the community were recognized at a packed luncheon hosted recently at the Tuolumne Resiliency Center on Bay Avenue.

Occurring on National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, it was put on by members of the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office, Tuolumne Resiliency Coalition, and Child Welfare Services.

The Tuolumne Resiliency Coalition, led by member Annie Hockett, started the event by recognizing six “Children’s Champions” who have made a difference in the lives of vulnerable youth in the community.

The awardees, including descriptions provided by the coalition, can be found below:

Rebecca Bell:

Rebecca is the only SART nurse for the county and does the sexual assault exams. Rebecca does these sensitive exams without judgement and with kindness in county so youth and adults do not have to experience the trauma of travel to Modesto for a such a sensitive exam. Rebecca also has clothing for victims when they are missing clothing or it is torn or dirty, preserving victim dignity. Rebecca does everything she can to advocate for victims and also works on the local HOST team to do outreach for homeless youth and adults.

Hollie Brown:

Hollie is our child advocate for local youth who have experienced a crime committed against them. She faces some of the most challenging situations in which she works with the families. Connecting with outside partners to provide wraparound services during court proceedings. Hollie continues to build relationships with the seed of resilience planted in each youth she works with.

Kate Christie

Kate has been a champion for the children in our community for years now. She is a Deputy District Attorney who prosecutes juvenile cases with a sense of support and understanding for the trauma that children have gone through. She understands that trauma can sometimes cause people to do bad things and she wholeheartedly wants these children to grow and heal so they can become productive members of society. She has supported survivors of child abuse in a way that deserves praise. She meets children where they’re at, supports them through the judicial process, and provides a sense of hope where hope is often lost. Kate has also worked with the mock trial program in our county, helping to guide future attorneys who will undoubtedly fight to help children too one day. She is a wonderful asset both in our office and our county.

Rob Egger:

Rob is a huge advocate for all kids.  Regardless of the needs of the youth that he works with he encourages them to be the best version of themselves.  He is heavily involved in the community and is a doer not a talker.  He has taken a leadership role in Not My Kid, The Friendship Conference, The Drugstore Project, YES Partnership, Without Permission, and has spoken on student mental health at several conferences.  He advocates for kids and when things aren’t getting done he is not afraid to do it himself often personally checking on students himself.

Tamara Hansen:

Tamara is a teacher at Curtis Creek Elementary School here in Sonora, California. She has taught kindergarten all the way up to second grade. She pours her heart and soul into finding ways to facilitate integrative learning. She takes the whole into account in her teaching methods. That is mind, emotional, physical, family support and creative outlets. She allows a safe space for these children to express emotions and inspires curiosity. She partners with local community leaders to advocate for local histories through preserving our indigenous heritage. Curtis Creek is the site of a large grinding stone. She along with the local Tribe are teaching and preserving that rare piece of history. She is a dedicated and gifted teacher that we are blessed to have in this community. It is high time we show her that we see and acknowledge all that she does for our children and families in this small community!

Pat Atkins:

Pat Atkins has been volunteering her time, resources and heart to justice-involved youth for many years.  She currently serves as the religious services coordinator for the Mother Lode Regional Juvenile Detention Facility, is the founder and leader of the Hidden Treasures non-profit, and serves as a commissioner on the Juvenile Justice Commission.  Pat sees the good in every at-risk youth she encounters and remains a beacon of hope that children can improve their situations and live a life full of joy, passion and wellness.  She exudes compassion, hope and a healing spirit.  Pat has undoubtedly changed the trajectory of many lives with her dedication to helping children reach their full potential.  Pat is truly a Champion for our justice involved youth and is extremely deserving of this recognition.

Immediately after, during the crime Victim’s Rights portion of the luncheon, emceed by District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke, it was announced that the recently retired Tuolumne County Crime Victim Advocate Jan Fuller, who flew back from Georgia to attend the luncheon, has received the Janee Fleming Lifetime Achievement Award for Exemplary Service to Victims.

Many others were also recognized, and the DA’s Office has provided a list of local victims who were honored for their exceptional strength in the face of adversity.

  • Evelyn Turpin
  • Jerine Hoffman
  • Kirsten Weber
  • Kara Bucchi
  • Laurel Sargent
  • one additional awardee is a minor and is not being named

Outstanding service members were recognized for going above and beyond in areas like helping victims or fighting to bring justice. The awardees are listed below:

  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Rebecca Bell of the Mathiesan Memorial Health Clinic
  • Sheriff’s Detective Rachael Reese with the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office
  • Deputy Garrett Bomer of the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office
  • Officer Mikale Bell of the Sonora Police Department
  • Officer Nathaniel Minick with the California Highway Patrol
  • Officer Joshua McKernan of the California Highway Patrol
  • Social Worker and Forensic Interviewer Danielle McGuire with Child Welfare Services
  • Investigator Brandon Green of Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office
  • Parole Officer Norman Delise, Division of Adult Parole Operations – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Tuolumne County Probation Officer Sophia Dragun
  • Victim Advocate Tamara Saunders with the Center for Non-Violent Community