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Domestic Abuse Shelter Recognizes Longtime Volunteer Submitted: 04/27/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - A safe haven in Rhinelander with a long history of volunteers honored one of them Saturday.

A large amount of enthusiasm packed the domestic abuse shelter in Rhinelander Saturday.

"We have the honor and the blessing of naming our shelter after our longtime volunteer Lily Kongslien," said Tri County Council for Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Executive Director, Shellie Holmes.

"Our shelter will be now known as Lily's House to honor all of the years she's dedicated working with victims and her passion that she has for the work that she does here and the people that we serve."

Kongslien wore many hats while she worked at the shelter, but working with the children is what she loved the most.

"I saw these kids all confused. Some came in their pajamas even at night and they were so confused that we had to quiet them down and get them to feel comfortable," said Honoree, Lily Kongslien.

"I'd read to them or talk with them."

Kongslien is humbled by the recognition. But working with victims that were sexually abused or in a violent relationship was very challenging.

"It's not a work that you enjoy, as we think of enjoying doing something, but it's very rewarding. And I never thought much about it, I just did it." Kongslien said.

The ceremony included a dedication from Pastor Lori Groat and guest speakers, but there was one special tribute that didn't leave a dry eye in the room.

"I know it's hard for families that have domestic problems. it's not only hard on the mother or the father, depending on what the situation is, but it's also hard on the children," said Lily's daughter, Lorraine Sackett.

"And the children are usually the ones that get hurt the most."

Lily hopes the shelter will expand in the near future.

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Investigators think a van went through an intersection and hit a semi truck.

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According to Wisconsin State Patrol, the driver of the van is a 68-year-old woman from Colby. Crews later took her to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield for non-life threatening injuries. Her passenger, a 77-year-old male from Colby, died in the crash. They were both wearing seatbelts. 

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Traffic was rerouted through Boulder Junction for several hours and was reopened shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Several units responded to the scene.

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