In early 1995, the only agency providing services to victims of family violence and sexual assault in Hutchinson County, TX closed its doors. This left the small, rural county of 26,000 with no means of help or support for these women and children in crisis. It was then that Ben Conner stepped forward and worked to organize a group of citizens committed to ending family violence and sexual assault in Hutchinson County. Together this group formed a Board of Directors, incorporated and took all the necessary steps to make the Hutchinson County Crisis Center, Inc. (HC3) a reality. A shelter facility was secured and furnished, volunteers were trained and as an office facility was established.
In order to fund this nonprofit, Ben, as Borger Rotary President, initiated the First Annual Borger Open Golf Tournament in the summer of 1995, the proceeds fromwhich covered HC3’s start-up costs. Almost single-handedly, Ben secured sponsors, golfers, sites, prizes and volunteers or this event. The tournament was very successful and raised more than $9,000. Ben and the Borger Rotary have continued the Borger Open each year since and consistently raise more than $8,000 for HC3.
Ben has served as Board Chair for two terms, during which HC3 has gone from a fledging organization to an active agency serving the needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. In just three short years, HC3, under Ben’s guidance, has grown to have $225,000+ annual budget and a staff of 11 well-trained, caring employees and a volunteer base of over thirty. HC3 provides safety, shelter and services to more than 400 women and children and runs a 24-hour Hotline that has assisted more than 1,500 callers.