Carolyn Fish, who has served as the Executive Director of Center for Safety & Change (formerly Rockland Family Shelter) for more than 35 years, has recently announced her retirement, though she will continue her involvement as Executive Director Emeritus through early 2015 The Legal Aid Society of Rockland County will honor her extraordinary contributions to our community at its annual gala on October 3, 2013.
“Carolyn has had profound impact upon the lives of thousands of Rockland County residents”, says Alex Bursztein, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Rockland County. “As a result of her efforts so many have been able to change their lives, obtain justice and find both peace and security. She is the embodiment of our “Continuing the Commitment” Award and our organization is truly honored to honor her!”
Carolyn Fish is one of the founding members of the Center for Safety & Change. Under her leadership the agency has grown from a 24-hour hotline and an emergency shelter for battered women and their children to be an award winning multi-service agency with non-residential domestic violence support and advocacy services, sexual trauma services, comprehensive crime victim services, children’s programs, a legal department, and educational and technical assistance programs.
Ms. Fish has been honored for her work by numerous organizations including the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Crime Victims Board, The Rockland County Bar Association, Mental Health Association of Rockland County, The Girl Scouts of Rockland County, The Police Chief’s Association of Rockland County and the New York State and Rockland County Legislatures and was one of New York State Senate’s Distinguished Women of the Year. On Thursday, October 3, 2013 the Legal Aid Society of Rockland County will recognize Carolyn Fish for her commitment to social change and social justice, her countless contributions to the community and for serving as a voice for survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. This Annual Gala will feature a VIP Reception, cocktail hour, gourmet dinner and silent auction of unique goods and services.
Since 1966, the Legal Aid Society of Rockland County has offered free legal representation to low income residents of Rockland County. The organization is a charitable 501(c)(3) not-for-profit agency that relies upon philanthropic support from individuals, corporations and grant making sources to provide legal services to over 4,000 people each year. The organization’s advocates serve two essential functions: they represent children whose basic rights and lives are at stake in cases heard by the Rockland County Family Court and they provide legal assistance to adult Rockland County residents in civil cases in which those residents’ essential needs for shelter, income, food, and health care are denied or threatened.
The work of the organization’s advocates encompasses many areas of the law. They help families avoid losing the homes in mortgage foreclosure actions. They support people fighting back against landlords who refuse to provide decent conditions. They help people with disabilities obtain and preserve their federal disability benefits and health care they need to live with dignity. They help people who have lost their jobs obtain unemployment benefits. They help survivors of domestic violence break the cycle of abuse by providing the legal support needed for safety and financial security. And because of the Legal Aid Society of Rockland County, children are given a voice in abuse and neglect, custody, and other proceedings in family court.
Tickets to the Legal Aid Society’s Annual Gala honoring Carolyn Fish can be obtained by calling Rudy Breedy at (845) 634-3627. General donations in honor of Ms. Fish and in support of the Legal Aid Society of Rockland County can be made online by visiting www.legalaidrockland.org