Proceeds from Sarah's House benefit to go toward down payment for new facility

Sheila King, director of Sarah's House Victims' Center, is gearing up to raise money for relocation of the center.

All proceeds of the "Christmas in July Dinner, Dance & Auction," benefit on July 21 will benefit Sarah's House, a center dedicated to providing a safe and appropriate environment for crime victims.

The facility is now located next to the Kingman Police Department.

"We need the money for a larger building," King said.

"Kingman is growing, and so are the number of victims."

The Kingman Alliance Victim Center is named Sarah's House in memory of Sarah Milam, a victim of physical abuse who was murdered on Sept.

21, 1990, just 38 days before her first birthday.

The center is a community effort.

Mohave County Victim/Witness Program provides crisis intervention, crisis counseling and victims' rights information and the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, Kingman Police Department and the Arizona Department of Public Safety provide trained professionals to conduct interviews with victims and witnesses.

Child Protective Services provides an investigator to work with children and their families concerning abuse and/or neglect and assists officers in the interview process, and Adult Protective Services provides an investigator to work with senior citizens or disabled adults concerning abuse.

Kingman Regional Medical Center donated needed medical equipment for the examining room, King said.

One of the first of its kind in rural Arizona, King said the center is important to the community.

Seven full-time employees, including King, work at the center, along with one part-time receptionist and one part-time volunteer.

Although two of the employees are from the Mohave County Victim Witness Program, and receive their salaries from the county, federal grant money pays other salaries and operating expenses, King said.

Eleven volunteer crises advocates are also on call to respond to calls from law enforcement and fire departments concerning victims.

The 1,500-square-foot building, located at 2800 Andy Devine Ave., houses Sarah House

offices, a children's waiting room, two interview rooms, one for children and one for adults and a medical examination room for sexual assault and molestation victims.

King said the size of the building was adequate but the needs of the center have changed.

"Close to 200 children have come to Sarah's House, many the victims of sexual abuse.

In addition, the six SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner) nurses that are on call at the center are often called to go to Bullhead City or Lake Havasu City, she said.

"We get called because they do not have forensic nurses to examine the victim.

Through forensic examines we are able to get enough evidence."

King said the children's waiting room is small, the facility is in need of a shower that victims can use after an exam and there is not enough parking.

"But we are one of the first rural areas to have a center like this.

We are one of the forerunners," she said.

"We are so lucky."

The Christmas in July benefit, sponsored by J.B.S.

Dolls, Steel Erection, BetNor and Findlay/Nolte Auto Centers, will be held at J.B.

S.

Dolls, 4105 N.

Bank St.

at 6 p.m.

The event includes a silent auction with prizes including airline tickets, a fax machine, food mixer and autographed sports memorabilia, among other prizes.

A buffet dinner, local rock/country band music and door prizes every half hour are also included.

King said 450 invitations to the benefit have been mailed and she is hoping for a good response.