Sometimes, us radio folk can take for granted the impact we have on our community. We get on the air everyday and talk to you as you're driving or working in the hopes we are entertaining or informing you about what's going on in East Texas. But we also love working with local non-profits to get the word out about their organization or the various events they put on. One organization we have worked closely with for many years is the East Texas Crisis Center. Because of that work, I was very humbled to receive a Hope Award for doing my small part in helping them get the word out about the great work they do for sexual assault victims in East Texas.

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The East Texas Crisis Center (ETCC) has been in East Texas for over 40 years helping those who have been sexually victimized. ETCC provides counseling, legal advocacy and other means of support to both men and women. Every year, one of the biggest fund raisers for the center is the East Texas Auto and Cycle Show. It is an awesome event showcasing some fantastic classic and modern automobiles but also raises a lot of money to keep the organization's doors open.

April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The biggest and most startling fact is that one in three women and one in seven men are affected by sexual violence. ETCC has a teal ribbon available to wear throughout April to raise awareness.

Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media
Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media
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One in three women and one in seven men are affected by sexual violence.

There are those that believe that blaming the victim of a sexual assault is okay. "She shouldn't have worn that dress." "She had too much to drink." "He's a man. He can take it." "Men are strong and could never be victims." All of these phrases are not an excuse or a reason for being sexually assaulted. This is called victim blaming and should never be accepted. If you have been a victim of sexual assault, the ETCC is available to help. Visit their website at etcc.org or you can call 903-509-2526 or their 24 hour hotline at 903-595-5591.

All this month, you will hear PSAs (public service announcements) talking about Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Starting in late December or early January, you'll start hearing PSAs for the East Texas Auto and Cycle Show that's every February. It's because of those PSAs that the ETCC awarded me a Hope Award for 2022.

Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media
Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media
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I was very surprised to get a call from Cheyenne Jones in March giving me the news that I had been selected to receive a Hope Award. I received this award because of my work with Jeremy Flowers coming to the station to voice their PSAs and then I produce them and get them on the air. I was very honored and very humbled to receive their award.

I was not the only one honored during the ceremony at the Tyler Public Library. Living Well Holistic Counseling & Wellness, Tanos Exploration II, LLC, Riley Harris Construction, LP, and Sergeant Jason Lee of the Gun Barrel City Police Department were also honored for their assistance to the ETCC.

Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media
Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media
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Thank you to the East Texas Crisis Center and to Jeremy Flowers for giving me this award. My Hope Award is proudly displayed in my office at the station. It was cool to make the news that evening, too. While I wasn't interviewed, I was prominently shown during KETK's news story.

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