One of Lake Tahoe’s most established nonprofits has a new name | SierraSun.com
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One of Lake Tahoe’s most established nonprofits has a new name

Matthew Renda
Sierra Sun

KINGS BEACH, Calif. – While it may be true that a rose by any other name will smell the same, nonprofit organizations understand their name is crucial because it represents a condensed mission statement.

For Tahoe Women’s Services, a nonprofit dedicated to the reduction of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse in North Lake Tahoe/Truckee, staff members felt the name no longer accurately reflected the organization’s inclusive mission.

Thus, the board and staff, after collecting community input, have formulated a new name for the nonprofit – Tahoe Safe Alliance.

“The characterization of domestic violence as exclusively a woman’s issue is enormously misleading,” said Courtenay Wallpe, board of directors president for the organization. “This organization must engage men or the mission will never be achieved.

“The word alliance is meaningful. (It indicates) the partnerships we have built with our clients, our donors and other community members.”

Karen Carey, executive director of Tahoe Safe Alliance, said the push to change the name began about two years ago, when issues regarding the exclusionary nature of the moniker began to surface.

“The name just didn’t reflect everything we were and are doing,” Carey said.

A big part of Tahoe Safe Alliance’s operation centers on prevention, wherein staff members visit local schools and other organizations and educate students – both male and female – about the importance of respect for the opposite sex.

Wallpe said the prevention staff first brought the need for brand adjustment to light.

Paul Bancroft, prevention program coordinator for Tahoe Safe Alliance, said whenever he would introduce himself to a room full of young men or boys, a disconnect would ensue.

“I’d tell a class full of eight-graders that I was from Tahoe Women’s Services and the first question I would get (was related to the fact I was a male),” he said. “I think the change is a great idea.”

Sean Farnan, a Tahoe Safe Alliance board member who helped with the rebranding, said there may be some early struggles among clientele to identify the organization in light of its new name.

“There’ll be some overlap such as including the phrase ‘formerly Tahoe Women’s Services’ on our printed materials,” he said. “It’s a small enough community where after a period of a year to 18 months, there’ll be little to no confusion.”

Tahoe Safe Alliance will hold one of its initial events under the new brand on April 27. Take Back the Night: The Art of Empowerment will be held at the Fat Cat in Tahoe City, beginning at 6 p.m. For more information, call the Incline Village office at 775-298-0010. A new website – http://www.tahoesafealliance.org – will be operational within 30 days, Carey said.


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