Domestic Violence Crisis Center Contact: Kathy Lake
777 Summer Street Media Relations Advocate
Stamford, CT 06901 Phone: (203) 588-9100
(203) 588-9100 Email: email@example.com
New York Giants Linebacker Mark Herzlich To Speak At DVCC Voices Of Courage Spring Luncheon
PATRICIA C. PHILLIPS TO BE HONORED
For Release April 11, 2016
The Domestic Violence Crisis Center is thrilled to announce that Mark Herzlich, a linebacker for the New York Giants, will be the keynote speaker at its 14th Annual Voices of Courage Spring Luncheon on May 19th at the Stamford Marriott Hotel. DVCC serves the communities of Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, Darien, Wilton and Weston.
As an imposing 6-foot 4-inch, 244 pound professional football player whose vocation is taking down equally enormous opponents, Herzlich may seem an unlikely champion of those who have been impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault. But for the past several years, he has advocated passionately for greater awareness within the NFL and beyond, and there is no doubt as to the sincerity of his desire to bring about change in the locker room culture and to, in his words, “redefine what it means to be a man”.
“When you look at a pro football player, you see a guy who is big, strong, physical, a ‘man’s man’,” Herzlich said in an interview. “But in my opinion, what is most important is how you are as a person. As a man, I think the most important thing you can do is to create a safe environment for those around you – your family, your spouse, kids, colleagues, co-workers – everyone.”
Herzlich’s involvement as a spokesperson began well before the Ray Rice scandal hurled the NFL’s handling of domestic violence cases headlong into a harsh and unforgiving public spotlight in the fall of 2014. The catalyst for his activism occurred four years earlier, when his then-girlfriend (now wife), Danielle, revealed that she had been physically and emotionally abused by her father. Since then, both Mark and Danielle have become involved with a variety of domestic violence organizations. Mark took a firm stance with regard to Ray Rice, declaring there should be “no tolerance” for domestic violence or players who are abusive, joined the NO MORE campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault, and last October helped to stage a significant awareness event during a Giants game at Met Life Stadium.
Herzlich was also lauded for his toughness and persistence after being diagnosed with and successfully overcoming Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, which sidelined him for more than a year during his stellar career as an All-American defensive player for Boston College.
This year’s luncheon will honor Stamford resident Patricia C. Phillips, who has championed the rights of and promoted safety for victims of domestic violence for nearly four decades. In 1979 she created the Stamford Mayor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence, bringing together local police, government officials, hospitals, churches and nonprofits to collectively address the issue. Instrumental in developing training programs and creating safe houses, she later founded and served on the board of Domestic Violence Services, now the DVCC. A current member of DVCC’s Advisory Board and one of the agency’s most impressive and staunchest allies, Phillips will receive the 2016 Voices of Courage award.
“The fact that we have Pat Phillips, who has been doing this work for forty years in her own very determined way, and Mark Herzlich, who has come to it more recently and is equally determined to make a difference, is just phenomenal,” said DVCC Executive Director Rachelle Kucera Mehra. “Both have recognized that domestic violence is a significant problem and have made it their mission to do something about it. Thanks to people like Pat and Mark, our communities continue to become a little bit safer for those impacted by domestic violence.”
New at this year’s luncheon is a single-item live auction that will give the winner and a friend the opportunity to attend a New York Giants training day! A silent auction will offer a Giants football and helmet signed by Herzlich, VIP tickets to a NY Mets game, and a variety of shopping events. As well, baskets comprising many fabulous gift items will be raffled off. Co-Chairs Teresa Alasio of Norwalk and Janill Sharma of Stamford and a committee of 12 area residents are organizing this major fundraiser, which supports critically needed agency programs. For tickets, sponsorship opportunities or information, please visit www.dvccct.org or call 203-588-9100.
Money raised will help DVCC continue its mission to promote the fundamental right of all individuals to be safe in their personal relationships. With a professional staff of 45 people, who have years of experience and advocacy in the field of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, the agency offers confidential services at no charge, including court and legal services; counseling; SafeHouses; children’s services; SustainAbilityCT, a financial, education and housing advocacy program; medical advocacy; multilingual services; professional adult trainings; PeaceWorks prevention education; a 24-hour hotline (1-888-774-2900); and EsperanzaCT, a Spanish language website and 24-hour phone service line. DVCC is the only domestic violence agency serving the communities of Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton and Weston. In fiscal year 2014 – 2015, DVCC provided comprehensive services to 3,322 unduplicated victims of domestic violence and provided shelter to 414 individuals. PeaceWorks, the violence prevention platform of the DVCC, reached 22,566 young people through its school programs, afterschool programs and Teen PeaceWorks.