This article appeared in the Summer 2008 issue of Texoma Living!.
Thursday, March 27, Austin College Wright Center
Three hundred-plus guests and sponsors gathered at Austin College’s Wright Center to show what can be done when a group of committed women put their heads together. Janet Ventura and her committee organized and put on a mid-week luncheon and silent auction that was spectacular by any standard. The beneficiary was the Crisis Center, Texoma’s haven for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Serving three counties —Grayson, Fannin, and Cooke—the Crisis Center gives women and their children a safe place to escape and find support and direction. From its simple beginnings as a volunteer-supported hotline 35 years ago, the Crisis Center today serves more than 800 clients each year. Crisis Center’s Executive Director, Kathy Crenshaw, at times was overwhelmed with emotion as she thanked the group of men and women present. “One of the saddest things I have ever seen is seeing children we once served ending up back in our shelter as adult victims of domestic abuse,” said Crenshaw. Some of the services provided by the Crisis Center include an emergency shelter, support groups, counseling, life skills training and education. Board of Directors President Betty Roether told the crowd, “It’s said, if you want to get something done, ask a busy person to do it.” The familiar faces in the audience, all well-known volunteers and organizers, were a testament to that adage. It would be a mistake to say no men were involved in the project. Herman Ringler, Jim Fry, Rev. Neill Morgan, Ralph Renshaw III, and County Commissioner Johnny Waldrip serve on the Crisis Center board along with Lana Caswell-Garcia, Paula Mears, Lyn Jostes, Elaine Pendergrass, Bobbye Wynne-Stoolfire, Nancy Anderson, Debbie Burchfield, Marilyn Pickens, Carol Shea and Josie Smith. More than 25 major sponsors made a commitment, and over 50 companies provided items for the silent auction.