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Women's Center gets $4,000 Packers grant

Women's Center Staff, volunteers and board members pose for a photo to commemorate naming the emergency shelter after former executive director Marie F. Kingsbury in the center’s playroom Tuesday. Pictured, (from left) are Al Froehlich, incoming board president, Dave Helling, longtime volunteer and capital campaign co-chair, Bonnie Birk (behind), volunteer, capital campaign co-chair, Board President Sharon Wood, Kingsbury, Executive Director Angela Mancuso, Kristine Hillmer with MBA and Ken Genin, director of development.

Women's Center Staff, volunteers and board members pose for a photo to commemorate naming the emergency shelter after former executive director Marie F. Kingsbury in the center’s playroom Tuesday. Pictured, (from left) are Al Froehlich, incoming board president, Dave Helling, longtime volunteer and capital campaign co-chair, Bonnie Birk (behind), volunteer, capital campaign co-chair, Board President Sharon Wood, Kingsbury, Executive Director Angela Mancuso, Kristine Hillmer with MBA and Ken Genin, director of development.

Dec. 3, 2013

Waukesha — On a dreary winter day members, volunteers and advocates for the Women's Center celebrated news of the work that continues to be a bright spot for those facing dark times.

A group gathered at the center's grounds to make two announcements Tuesday.

Packers grant

The Green Bay Packers' Community Quarterback Award has been given to the Metropolitan Builders Association (MBA) for the eight years of volunteer work the MBA has done at the Women's Center. As a result of the award, the center receives a $4,000 grant from the Green Bay Packers Foundation. The grant will help with the work the center does in providing affordable homes to abused women and their children transitioning from violence to independent living.

The MBA recently helped convert a home into a five-bedroom, two-family duplex for families in need. The organization also renovated three front porches and a balcony on several other transitional homes at the Women's Center campus. The projects included architectural expertise, construction equipment, building materials and labor totaling $193,383.

"The Women's Center is so grateful for MBA's time and commitment to our agency. The cost alone associated with this type of remodeling project would not have been possible for us to achieve," said Women's Center Executive Director Angela Mancuso.

The Quarterback Award, presented by Humana, is designed to honor volunteers who exemplify leadership, dedication, creativity and commitment to improving communities through volunteerism.

Shelter renamed

The Women's Center had another honor of its own to present on Tuesday to former Executive Director Marie Kingsbury. The center has named its emergency shelter the Marie F. Kingsbury Domestic Violence Shelter honoring her 25 years of leadership.

"Marie Kingsbury leaves us with a tremendous legacy and reputation to continue to uphold. Her impact will be with us and remain an integral part of our history and our heritage.

"The Women's Center staff, the Friends of the Women's Center and the Board of Directors want to recognize Marie's service, her tremendous contributions, all she has done for the thousands of women and children who have walked through the doors of The Women's Center and all she has done to get the attention of our community and to build awareness of domestic violence and sexual abuse," said Board President Sharon Wood.

Mancuso was named the new executive director at the center in October. Mancuso has 12 years of professional experience serving the domestic violence environment. She served as Executive Director of the Sojourner Truth House and Co-Executive Director for the Sojourner Family Peace Center. She is the past co-chair of the City of Milwaukee's Commission on Domestic Violence and is currently a Commissioner.

The Women's Center was founded in 1977 and provides a wide range of free and comprehensive services designed to address the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse. Services include an emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling, child care, abuse prevention programming, legal advocacy and employment counseling.

— Reporter Paige Brunclik contributed to this story

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