VOICES to hold 40th celebration on June 30

Organization offers individuals and families survivor-centered services and support

FREEPORT — VOICES of Stephenson County is marking its 40th anniversary with a community celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 30 at Freeport’s Lincoln Mall.

The free event is planned for the mall parking lot and will feature a fun atmosphere with a light lunch, games for the young and young at heart, door prizes and history displays. Events will be moved indoors in case of inclement weather.

“It is important to commemorate and celebrate this milestone because, throughout its history, VOICES has adapted and evolved as the needs of our survivors have changed,” said Beth Maskell, VOICES executive director. “We are looking forward to the next 40 years and beyond and are excited to celebrate with the community.”

The event also will feature free admission to the first 50 children to the Children’s Hands-On Museum in the mall.

A special prevention education program aimed at kindergarten-age children will be available in the museum during this time. All activities will be moved indoors at the mall in case of inclement weather.

VOICES started as part of the YWCA in 1982 with a focus of serving survivors of domestic violence. It emerged as a separate organization in 2005 under the name VOICES DV. It began assisting survivors of sexual assault and abuse in 2014 and became known as VOICES of Stephenson County.

Then, in 2021, VOICES made history by opening the first shelter in Stephenson County dedicated solely to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

VOICES offers individuals and families survivor-centered services and support such as counseling, advocacy and education to treat and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault and abuse.

It also operates the VOICES Survivors Shelter and VOICES Book Nook.

For additional information, visit www.voicesofsc.org.