Blaine woman receives 9/11 Volunteer For Victims award
By Jack Kintner
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recognized Blaine resident Barbara Skudlarick for her years of efforts on behalf of crime victims at the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Awards Ceremony last week in Washington, D.C. She was one of 10 recipients nationally, receiving the volunteer for victims award.
“It was wonderful to meet the other people who were being honored,” Skudlarick said, who returned to Blaine late Monday with her husband Richard. “I’ll stay connected with most of them, like the missionary in the Philippines who was captured by terrorists that killed her husband.”
Others commended were Florida plastic surgeon Daniel Man who invented a way to restore a woman’s nose that was bitten off in a domestic dispute, and Kenneth Barnes of Washington, DC, who started a community-based anti-crime effort network after his son was killed by street thugs.
“We all owe a debt to these honorees who tirelessly work to protect victims’ rights,” Holder said. Skudlarick, a retired registered nurse and a former flight attendant with TWA, volunteers locally through both as a part of Support Officer Community Care and through the Everett-based Families and Friends of Violent Crime Victims (FNFVCV).
“While the two are separate, they cooperate to give pretty much seamless support to victims in the area,” said Skudlarick, who is also a former vice-president and director of the National Air Disaster Alliance and Foundation Family Support Team. That agency flew her to Washington, D.C., after the September 11, 2001 attacks to support surviving family members of those who were killed in the attack on the Pentagon. She was also a key figure in getting a memorial pole carved by Lummi Nation member Jewel James back to Washington, D.C., to honor the Pentagon victims of 9/11.
On Thursday, April 30, Skudlarick will be at a wine tasting and auction called Wine Against Crime which will be a fundraiser for the local office of FNFVCV which she helped start three years ago. It’s operated out of the Brigid Collins House at 1231 North Garden Street in Bellingham. Another recently opened near the hospital in Mt. Vernon, Skudlarick said.
She was nominated for the award by Kendra Cristelli, director of Support Officer Community Care, a local group that provide Whatcom County with immediate and follow-up counseling for victims and survivors of violent crimes and tragedies.
For more information, photos of the ceremony and a video visit https://ovcncvrw.ncjrs.gov/awards.