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WAHRS is establishing an annual scholarship fund in Patricia Balke's memory to be used for the support of a young person, nominated by a runaway program, in their transition into adulthood. It will be supported by individual and agency contributions and I will ask for support in implementing that recognition over the next year.

If you or your agency would like to contribute to that fund, please send your contributions directly to WAHRS at PO Box 317, Portage, WI 53901 and indicate "Balke Scholarship" in the memo or invoice line, OR you can Venmo money to @wahrs.

Please email us if you have any questions.


  1. Nominate someone to receive the Balke Scholarship

    The Balke Scholarship was created in 2020 to honor previous WAHRS Executive Director Patricia Balke. This Scholarship will be used to support a young person's transition into adulthood.

    Please write name, program they are at, and brief reason why you are nominating them.

  1. Nominate someone to receive the Svanoe award

    The Ren Svanoe award is presented yearly by WAHRS to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and compassion to runaway and homeless youth. The award is presented every year at the WAHRS Fall Conference. Individuals are nominated by members and granted the award through a membership voting process.

    The award is named after Mr. Svanoe as a tribute to his life long commitment to aiding runaway and homeless youth and youth in crisis. Ren was the first acting director of Briarpatch runaway program in Madison, WI. After serving in that capacity for ten years, Ren spent the next ten years working on a statewide level with runaway programs in his role as Assistant Director for the WI Association for Runaway Services. During the twenty years he committed to these vulnerable youth and families, Ren demonstrated unlimited dedication to his work. When he retired, WAHRS membership honored him by naming a lifelong achievement award in his name to be given to individuals who demonstrated the same passion for working with youth.

    Please write name and reason below.

WAHRS • Joli Guenther • joli@guenthershome.com • 608-239-5430

Mail to:   PO BOX 317 / Portage, WI 53901

WAHRS • Joli Guenther

Mail to:   WAHRS / PO BOX 317 / Portage, WI 53901