Safe Homes’ supporters raise 60k at annual dinner


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  • At the event (left to right) are Christine Fitzgerald, Safe Homes Board president; Rachel Chazin-Halperin, Honoree from Legal Services of the Hudson Valley; Dr. Michele Winchester-Vega, Honoree; Lavon Morris-Grant, Honoree; Dr. Marie Gregory Cantu, Honoree; Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier, Safe Homes executive director.




  • Pictured here, from left, are Dave Goggins, Safe Homes founder; Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier, Safe Homes executive director; Lisa Daily, Safe Homes founder and Jacqueline Murray, Safe Homes founder.




  • At the event, from left, are Honorable Leigh J. Benton and Victoria Benton, Orange County Legislator; Chris Eachus, Orange County Legislator; David M. Hoovler, District Attorney; Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier, Safe Homes Executive Director; James Skoufis, Assemblyman.



In recognition of 30 years of helping adult and child survivors of domestic violence, teen dating violence and human trafficking, Safe Homes of Orange County held a fundraising gala on Friday, Oct. 21, at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor where 280 friends and supporters raised $60,000 for the agency’s comprehensive services and public education programs.

The Celebration of Hope, one of the agency’s many events in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, recognizes groups and individuals in the community whose actions advance Safe Homes’ mission for the elimination of all forms of domestic violence, teen dating violence and human trafficking. This year, awards were presented to honorees Lavon Morris Grant, Executive Director of MACOSH Healing Network, author, activist and international speaker on domestic violence and trauma recovery; Dr. Michele Winchester-Vega, owner of the county’s largest group private practice providing mental health services; Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, a non-profit dedicated to providing free, high-quality legal counsel for poor and low-income families in civil matters addressing basic human needs; Dr. Marie Gregory Cantu, a former member of Safe Home’s Board for more than 17 years who remains dedicated to the fight against domestic violence.

“Inspired by the quote from a Hopi elder, ‘We are the ones we have been waiting for’, our annual Celebration of Hope gala recognized Safe Homes’ 30 years of supporting and advocating for victims and their families, and honored the individuals and businesses over three decades that have committed their time, expertise and support to our agency, as well as those impacted by domestic violence, teen dating violence and human trafficking. It was an incredible evening inspired by those who have championed Safe Homes and our mission, and the survivors and victims who have taught us the true meaning of courage, strength and hope,” said Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier, executive director at Safe Homes of Orange County.

Safe Home’s largest annual fundraising event remains connected and committed to the community, with a performance by the Warwick Valley High School String Quartet and a pop-up market featuring local artisans showcasing their wares.

The gala was sponsored by Crystal Run Healthcare, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc., Mediacom, Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Dr. Michele Winchester-Vega & Associates, Orange Regional Medical Center, Bruyn Designed, M&T Charitable Foundation, Our Little Rebellion Popcorners, Police Chiefs’ Association of Orange County, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital and Ulster Savings Bank.

Among guests in attendance were David M. Hoovler, District Attorney, James Skoufis, Assemblyman, Brian Maher, Representative from Senator Larkin’s Office, Leigh J. Benton, Orange County Legislator, Chris Eachus, Orange County Legislator, William Worden, President of the Police Chiefs’ Association of Orange County and Chief of Police for the City of Port Jervis; Dominick Blasko, Chief of Police, Town of Crawford.

For more information, go to www.safehomesorangecounty.org.


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