FJC Staff and Volunteers gathered on Thursday, August 1, for the Second annual FJC Volunteer Appreciation Picnic

FJC Staff and Volunteers gathered on Thursday, August 1, for the Second annual FJC Volunteer Appreciation Picnic

FJC Staff and Volunteers gathered on Thursday, August 1, for the second annual FJC Volunteer Appreciation Picnic.  Gathering at Stiglmeier Park in Cheektowaga, guests enjoyed a delicious BBQ dinner, complete with hot dogs, chicken, sausages, salads, and more!  Delicious sweet treats were also available, courtesy of KupKates Bakery in Buffalo.

Volunteer chef Dan Barone gave his time to grill the delicious feast; with DV Advocate and Volunteer Coordinator, Jaclyn Strycharz, and her mom, Cindy Chentfant organizing the event.   Everyone was ABUZZ with excitement, as the picnic was bee-themed, with charming yellow and black decorations adorning the pavilion: complete with bee-autiful floral centerpieces, courtesy of Maureen’s Wholesale Flowers in Buffalo.  The skies were a beautiful blue, and the summer sun was shining for this picture-perfect party!

The celebration gave volunteers from all the FJC locations a chance to meet and enjoy an afternoon of fun and friendship.  What’s more, Helium Comedy Club of Buffalo and Paula’s Donuts generously donated prizes to raffle off to our hard-working team of volunteers. 

CEO Mary Murphy spoke to the group after dinner, giving heartfelt thanks on behalf of the entire organization, for the amazing work volunteers do day in and day out.    We thank all our volunteers for giving your valuable time to support the Family Justice Center, and the domestic and relationship abuse victims who walk through our doors each day.  

Thank you again, volunteers, for BEE-ing so great!

Voices Ending Violence Reaches Out to Buffalo Community

Voices Ending Violence Reaches Out to Buffalo Community

More than 300 community members, FJC supporters, and friends came out on a crisp, sunny Friday in early June.  They gathered at the Buffalo Convention Center to share a meal, share stories, and share hope, at the FJC’s annual Voices Ending Violence breakfast event, sponsored by Linde.

This year’s event theme of “reach out” was highlighted with a viewing of an introductory film to the campaign of the same name by WNED|WBFO, in partnership with the FJC.   A stunning Reach Out website features videos, informational materials, and support resources to anyone who might need to talk with a teen in their life about relationship abuse.  With content for parents, coaches, teachers, friends and family, this site can help with how to identify red flags and warning signs of abuse among teens and young adults, and how to have a conversation with a young person about healthy and unhealthy relationships.

Following the video, Photographer Michelle Jones shared selections from her public art installation From the Inside Out with the audience.  Sharing her personal story or survivorship, Michelle’s work creates a platform for those impacted by domestic violence, both directly and indirectly, to share their stories and messages of hope.

Next, survivor Maya M. took the stage to share her courageous story.  Maya spoke of an ongoing “game of chess” with her abuser, where each of her moves were answered with more powerful and harmful counter-moves.  With help from the Family Justice Center, and a strong team of friends, family, and co-workers, Maya has not only survived, but thrived!  She closed out her powerful testimony by saying, “Stopping the cycle…is my new game of chess.  Standing here before you and sharing my story is my checkmate.  I am so proud to say that I’ve officially won!”

West Herr Automotive Group was a generous supporter once again in 2019, offering to match all pledges and donations that morning, up to $10,000.  We are proud to say that we not only met, but surpassed that goal, thanks to the kind and generous donations from our guests!  

Thank you to all who attended our Voices Ending Violence breakfast 2019, and offered their support!

Channel 2, Ewing held accountable for failing domestic abuse victims, survivors

Alan Pergament from The Buffalo News 

I’ve long been highly complimentary of WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) reporter-anchor Claudine Ewing.

Anyone who read my January 2017 feature calling her “arguably Buffalo’s most underrated broadcast journalist” on her 25th anniversary in broadcasting likely realizes that.

Domestic violence survivors and victims deserve better from journalists

By Sonia Hassan / SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

I never wanted the public spotlight – and I certainly never wanted it for this. But 10 years ago, the night my family lost our strongest protector, we also lost our anonymity forever. Survivors are often left to the mercy of the public narrative. In our case, the news media – specifically the local news media – actively worked with our abuser to dictate what that would be.

Tree House Playroom

Tree House Playroom

Children who come to the FJC now have a fantastic enchanted forest playroom to visit while their parent receives services. Designed and built by local artists, theater and movie set creators, David Butler (David Butler Designs Pro Creation), Amy Kempf, Sean Kulak, JB Purcell and Hanna Lee Woltz, the “Treehouse Playroom” was officially opened at a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 28. We are so grateful to all of the volunteers, and staff for their help during the renovation process.

We would like to thank our friends who provided funding:

David Butler Designs Pro Creation

Donna & Patrick Murphy

Kathleen and Jeff McCrone

Family relieved as man accused of killing Rachael Wierzbicki is returned to jail

Domestic Violence Resources – The warning signs, and resources available in Western New York

Domestic Violence Resources – The warning signs, and resources available in Western New York

Mary Travers Murphy on News 4 discussing domestic violence

Mary Travers Murphy on News 4 discussing domestic violence

Thank you to the wonderful community organizers who have hosted events over the past few months to support FJC.

Thank you to the wonderful community organizers who have hosted events over the past few months to support FJC.

On Saturday August 11 at the Links at Ivy Ridge, Ingram Micro held their annual golf tournament and presented the Family Justice Center with a $25,000 donation to help fund the Grand Island satellite location. Many of the associates at Ingram Micro voiced their support and were thrilled at being able to provide such an impactful donation for those in need.

The Mates of The Buffalo Launch Club, and Family Justice Center volunteers and supporters Laura Mason and Karen Panzarella hosted a Music Festival on August 22 at the Grand Island Club, with headliner –Absolute Journey, a Journey tribute band. The event had a fabulous silent auction, food trucks and great music. Funds raised from the event will benefit the Family Justice Center satellite location on Grand Island.

Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI

The 10th Annual Bill Fallon Memorial Golf Tournament, hosted by the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI was held at Terry Hills Golf Course in Batavia on September 10th. Despite torrential rains, the golfers gathered for lunch and a silent auction. The Family Justice Center is grateful to have been a recipient of funds from this event for the past several years.

Liberty Cab Buffalo

Thank you to Liberty Cab and owner Mr. Bill Yunke for teaming up with the Buffalo Bills and Entercom Communications to make a donation to the FJC for every field goal attempt throughout the season. Listen to the game-day broadcast on WGR 550 to hear more about the promotion.