Survivor tells story

Speaker: Becky Lyon, The Bridge
Becky Lyon*, a Blair resident and Omaha native, spoke on Sept. 1 about her experience in a abusive relationship. She was accompanied by Suzanne Smith, executive director of The Bridge, which serves women, men and children in Washington, Burt, Cuming, Dodge and Saunders counties and is committed to eliminating violence and creating social change. Formerly called "The Crisis Center," The Bridge focuses on prevention and education. It hosts support groups and gave dozens of presentations in Washington County last year, including in schools. 
Becky escaped an abusive marriage in January 2011 after her husband nearly killed her. No alcohol or drugs were involved in the relationship. She was beaten daily. Her husband only allowed her to drive to the grocery store.
 "To know someone is taking your life is indescribable," she said. Becky knew she needed to leave the relationship, but didn't know how or who to turn to.
In 2011, her husband broke her face, and his little girls witnessed it.  Becky texted a friend she hadn't seen in a long time to see if they could meet. "She told me her home was my home, and she was going to get me help," she said. 
Becky left her husband and sought counseling. "The common thread is isolation and shame," she said of people in abusive relationships. She said that if you suspect someone may be in an abusive relationship, get help. 
"The work we're talking about isn't just helping people cope; it's saving lives," Smith said. 
The Bridge hosts a vigil in Blair every April. There is also a vigil in October in Fremont. It is open to the public. "It's an experience you won't forget," Smith said. 
To contact The Bridge in Blair, call 533-4411. Its 24-hour crisis line is 888-721-4340.
* I received permission from Becky to use her name for this newsletter. She also speaks at public events for The Bridge. -Katie
Annual Rotary fundraiser plans
Jim Nelson said planning for Rotary's annual fundraiser is coming along. His band is in need of a keyboard player, so let him know if you have any names! We also need a videographer for the event, so spread the word. 
Jim said attendees to the fundraiser will be encouraged to dress in whatever decade of music they like. So dust off the bell-bottoms or leather pants! 
Two new members! 
Please welcome our two new members: Mikki Mullally and Jordan Rishel!
Mikki is a mortgage banking officer at Two Rivers Bank in Blair and is a Blair native. Jordan is the executive director of the Blair Area Chamber of Commerce. She took on her new role at the Chamber after Harriet Waite retired earlier this year.
If I'm missing any new members, please let me know!