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Local Nonprofit Attends NFL Luncheon

Written by: Autumn Ruddy

 

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. –On Thursday February 1st three Family Pathways employees attended the ‘Unsung Heroes’ Luncheon hosted by the NFL at Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. Roxie Karelis (Director of Community Relations), Char Weidendorf (Black Dog Hill Emergency Shelter Manager), and Kim Houle (Manager of Community Advocacy), were honored for their efforts toward ending domestic violence and sexual assault through their work at Family Pathways’ Refuge Network program.

During the luncheon guests listened to a panel discussion which featured NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, Baltimore Ravens tight end, Ben Watson, Minnesota defensive end, Stephen Weatherly, and Minnesota Safety, Anthony Harris. The men spoke about domestic violence within the NFL and how it is being addressed. They also shared why they are personally involved in ending domestic violence and their belief that men must step up and be held accountable for their actions.

In closing, Goodell expressed his gratitude to the nonprofit attendees. “We saw the work that you’re doing and the emotional toll it takes; we recognize that you all are the ones who are doing that work and the importance of that work, so we just wanted to have this (luncheon) to say thank you and make sure you understand (how grateful we are) for the work that you do.”

Family Pathways offers community members four social services programs; among them is the Refuge Network. The program offers assistance to women throughout East Central Minnesota who have suffered or are suffering from domestic violence and sexual assault. Services include a 24 hour crisis hotline (1.800.338.SAFE (7233)), personal advocacy, legal advocacy, support groups, community education, emergency shelter, and hospital and law enforcement response. For more information, visit the website at FamilyPathways.org.

 

Pictured, from left to right: Kim Houle (Manager of Community Advocacy), Char Weidendorf (Shelter Manager), Roxie Karelis (Director of Community Advocacy), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell