SafePlaceThe Walk for Safe Families and Safe Streets had its beginnings in 1988 under the banner of the Austin Center for Battered Women. In 1999, that organization merged with the Austin Rape Crisis Center to form SafePlace Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survival Center. The Walk took place every year, building steadily in numbers of participants and dollars collected. For many years it was SafePlace's biggest fundraising event. For seven of those years we participated in SafePlace's Walk for Safe Families and Safe Streets. Annie's Team honored our daughter's memory by raising money and awareness to help individuals and families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault.

Annie's Team 1999
Annie's Team 1999

In July 1997 our dear Annie was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Within a few weeks, we found SafePlace and all the wonderful people there, and it was very comforting to direct our attention to working with this fine organization. The following spring, we joined in SafePlace's annual Walk for Safe Families. Ed told Annie's story to the press, and we raised a fair amount of money to support SafePlace's work. It was an inspirational experience, one of the finest days we ever spent. Determined to continue, in 1999 we formed Annie's Team to raise money for SafePlace in Annie's memory. We were a mere twenty or so that year, wearing T-shirts produced on the computer and ironing board at home. Even so, we made a respectable showing, and we finished the event determined to increase our efforts the following year.

Annie's Team 2000
Annie's Team 2000

And so we did. Each year more good people joined us, and more dollars were collected for SafePlace. Without exception, each team member was caught up in the spirit of Walk Day. They kept coming back, each time bringing new walkers to share this excellent experience. Each year we looked a bit more polished, and our numbers grew. Best of all, our collections keep climbing. It was a pyramid scheme, working for good. For all of us who knew Annie, and for those who worked and walked in her name, the team was regular affirmation that Annie's spirit is watching and guiding us.

Catch the spirit! Follow the links below to take the virtual walks with us.

Annie's Team 2001
Annie's Team 2002
Annie's Team 2003
Annie's Team 2004

Spring 2005: After much consideration, we have decided that Annie's Team has run its course. We participated in seven Walks and raised tens of thousands of dollars for SafePlace to help survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. By telling Annie’s story, we have also raised consciousness and perhaps pointed a few people in a new and more productive direction. For that record, we must thank everyone who has ever been part of Annie’s Team, whether as a contributor or a walker. We’ve had a really great run. And now it’s time for Annie’s Team to bow out.

We hope that the spirit of Annie's Team will continue to generate support for SafePlace. All nonprofits are constantly in need of money, goods, and volunteers, and SafePlace is no exception. The Walk for Safe Families and Safe Streets no longer takes place, but other events occur throughout the year to raise funds and awareness. If you walked with us or contributed to Annie's Team in past years, we encourage you to continue your participation. Please visit the SafePlace website to learn how you can help.

SafePlace website  Annie's Place
Learn more about the young woman
who inspired Annie's Team