Associate Dick Hofacker of Las Vegas figures he has answered thousands of calls over the last 19 years — as a volunteer with the Trauma Intervention Program — and accompanied people at their darkest hour, when a loved one has died.
Yet he never thought of himself as a hero.
Late last month Hofacker was featured on KSNV News 3 as the latest recipient in their “Cars for Heroes” campaign. A news crew covered the presentation of a 2016 Kia Soul to Hofacker for his nearly 20 years of making sure survivors don’t grieve alone.
“Wow,” Hofacker said simply.
The real estate broker volunteers with the Southern Nevada chapter of the Trauma Intervention Program, which is the busiest of the 18 branches across the country. Literally, its volunteers respond to an average of four scenes of tragedy — each day — in Clark County.
Its officials say that 95 percent of the program’s calls are after a death has occurred, either through natural circumstances, homicide, suicide, the death of a child and traffic fatalities. Volunteers also respond to non-death related incidents, including domestic violence, sexual assault, near death experiences and other violent crimes.
Hofacker made his first commitment as a Viatorian associate in 2009 and in 2014 he recommitted himself to the community.
“I’ve enjoyed the closeness, the feeling of togetherness and the family aspect of the community,” says Hofacker, who now is a parishioner of St. Thomas More Catholic Community in suburban Henderson, NV. “I’ve grown more spiritual.”
He hopes he can extend those feelings, he says, to the family members who are emotionally traumatized.