The Center for Family Justice recently named two Monroe residents its Beatrice Boucher Volunteers of the Year for their service and dedication to the nonprofit, which supports victims of domestic and sexual violence and child abuse in six local communities.
Anna Rodrigues of Monroe received the distinction of being CFJ”s 2018 female Volunteer of the Year, while Joel Gilmer received male Volunteer of the Year honors.
The two were honored at CFJ”s annual meeting held on June 26 at its Bridgeport headquarters, where they were recognized for their commitment and leadership as engaged volunteers.
“Joel and Anna are incredible champions of our mission of giving hope to victims and survivors and breaking the cycles of domestic and sexual violence,” said Debra A. Greenwood, president and CEO of The Center for Family Justice. “They each are wonderful examples of the impactful and unique ways volunteers can make a difference in the lives of victims and survivors. We’re thrilled to give them the recognition they deserve.”
Rodrigues, a former member of CFJ’s board of directors, has been actively involved in CFJ fundraising initiatives for more than a decade. For the second consecutive year she co-chair of CFJ’s annual Speaking of Women luncheon, which will be held on Sept. 25 at The Waterview in Monroe and feature broadcast journalist Tamron Hall as keynote speaker. She also holds an annual fundraising party at Roberto’s in Monroe, where she introduces new friends and supporters to the nonprofit and its mission.
“I am truly humbled and honored to be recognized as CFJ’s female volunteer of the year,” said Rodrigues. “The Center for Family Justice is a remarkable organization with staff and volunteers that are dedicated to the mission of breaking the cycle of violence. It has been my privilege for the past 15 years to be a small part of this incredible agency.”
Gilmer is an active member of CFJ’s White Ribbon Task Force, which works to engage men and boys in the efforts to end domestic and sexual violence. He was an active part of the planning for CFJ’s sixth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, held in Fairfield during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. He was also led several Where do You Stand? workshops on the campuses of Sacred Heart and Fairfield universities and at the University of Bridgeport.
“I am excited to be part of CFJ’s efforts to reduce violence through outreach in our local communities,” said Gilmer. “The prevention of even a single case of domestic or sexual violence is a major victory and education makes this possible.”