Smyth, Braly honored at gala

Cameron Smyth News

A Mardi Gras-themed evening was held March 19 to salute two heroes of the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley.

Assemblyman Cameron Smyth was presented with the Keith Richman Humanitarian Award.

Hunt Braly, husband of board member Pamela Braly, was presented with the Above and Beyond Award.

In addition, more than two dozen community leaders were presented with certificates of recognition for their work for the Domestic Violence Center.

The gala, held at the Elks Lodge in Canyon Country, attracted nearly 150 attendees.

“Thank you for attending tonight to salute Cameron Smyth and Hunt Braly for all they do for the Domestic Violence Center,” said Mary Ree, Domestic Violence Center board president.

Ree said the center’s hotline has received more than 1,000 calls in the past year.

The center has also provided more than 600 shelter visits to women and families in need.

Ree also thanked Santa Clarita Councilwoman Laurene Weste for her efforts to raise funds and in-kind donations for improvements to the center’s shelter, Clara’s Dream.

Clara’s Dream was named for Clara Stroup, the founder of the Domestic Violence Center and a community volunteer. Stroup’s dream was to have a shelter house in the SCV for abused families to go to in time of need, said Weste.

“It is a reality that will literally save thousands of lives for decades to come,” said Weste of the shelter.

The Keith Richman Humanitarian Award was presented to Smyth by Suzan Richman, the widow of Keith Richman who died in July. Richman served in the state Assembly from 2000 to 2006.

Smyth has been a long-time supporter of domestic violence issues and was key sponsor of 2009 legislation to restore funding to domestic-violence centers throughout California.

He was named Legislator of the Year by the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.

Smyth credited the Domestic Violence Center board, Ree, Gail Ortiz, Rob Stern, Jorja Harris, Pamela Braly, Kelly Bruno, Brenda Cambra, Stacy Miller, Joe Powell, Adrian Simon and Betty-Lou Wiseman, with bringing the funding plight to his attention.

Smyth, who will be termed out in the Assembly in 2012, promised to hold his successor accountable on the issue of domestic violence.

Braly, a land use attorney and founding partner in the law firm of HackerBraly, LLP, was presented the Above and Beyond Award by Smyth.

“He does so much more for this community,” said Smyth.

Braly was modest as he accepted the award.

“I am humbled,” he said.

During the event Carl Goldman read a letter from Braly’s partner, Jeff Hacker, saluting both of the evening’s honorees.
U.S. Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, also made an appearance at the gala. He presented Braly with a $1,000 check to benefit the Domestic Violence Center.

Originally posted here