Donor Stories

How CFJ Donors are making a difference.

  • cfj staff members rallying with support from community
  • Meet Patti from Patti's Place
  • cfj president honoring donor and volunteer
  • vintage photo of past donor

Their way to give back.

Meet some of our supporters who have helped The Center for Family Justice for years. Without their unwavering support over the years, we would not be able to do the work we do.

Patti Masarek 

“If you can’t be safe in your own home, then where can you be?” 

This is the question posed to visitors to the website, a page set up to inform the public about this vital work to build another safe house for our clients seeking shelter from immediate, life-threatening situations. 

No one is more passionate about making this project come to fruition than Patti Masarek, who co-chairs The Empower House project along with her husband Alan. 

With her compassionate and friendly approach to everything she does, Patti was the perfect name to adorn this safe house, so we at The Center for Family Justice proudly announced that The Empower House will now be known as Patti’s Place. 

When she isn’t busy helping us raise funds for our programs or co-chairing our Speaking of Women event in September, Patti can be found playing with the children whose parents attend support groups here at the center. 

Patti’s husband Alan also showed his dedication to the project with his months-long cross-country Empower Ride, which raised vital funding. Patti and Alan remain as committed as ever as we move toward the building’s completion, and as we raise funds to keep the building running after it opens. 

Patti’s Place will be a state-of-the-art facility that will be secure for individuals and families and will include a kennel for pets. The building will also house vital services including free legal support, wellness, social counseling, housing and job-seeking assistance. We expect the safe house to open its doors in 2024.

Rob Fried

When Rob Fried, an avid supporter of The Center for Family Justice as well as a talented musician, was working on the medley for his song Moving On, he suddenly realized the connection between that sound and CFJ’s mission to help those who have been traumatized by domestic violence, sexual violence, and child abuse.

 “It was as I was refining the melody and working on the lyrics that, all of a sudden, I started making connections with this cause,” Rob said.  The song can, however, appeal to all who have been going through various struggles in their lives, he added.

 “I think it’s something everyone is dealing with,” Rob said. “It’s universal that we all have to move on from relationships that are not working. It could be somebody that you thought you had a lot in common with and you realize your values are different. It could be a divorce or the end of a business partnership.”

Once the song was completed and the video was done, Rob showed the final product to his wife Monroe. “I played it for my wife right away,” Rob said. “And she had tears in her eyes, and I knew something was good about it.”

Rob has worked closely with the staff at The Center for Family Justice throughout his many years as a philanthropist. He and Band Central, a philanthropic private organization he founded in 2005, hosted a successful benefit concert for CFJ in March, titled “Women Rock!” 

Over the past decade, Rob has helped The Center for Family Justice raise hundreds of thousands of dollars through musical events and performances. Most recently, as a valued member of The Empower House Task Force, Rob helped raise funds to construct a state-of-the-art domestic violence safehouse and safe kennel that will open in early 2024. 

Rob’s engagement and support is helping the Greater Bridgeport region combat the growing need for programs and services in our towns, as well as create a safe place to temporarily live during the most dangerous and volatile time of someone’s life.

Rob is also a singer songwriter, bassist, producer, philanthropist, radio talk show host and architect/founder of the successful live themed concerts series Band Central. 

Band Central effectively accomplishes this in a multifaceted collaborative approach fueled by Rob’s extensive investment background, robust local network, passion for music and personal desire to “do good.” Band Central’s mission to combine philanthropy and music is reflected in its mantra to ‘show up, get down and do good.’

Rob and Monroe live in Redding and have three daughters: Emily, Rachel and Sarah. 

Write Your Own Story

Donors have so many meaningful stories about how they get involved and what they get out of working with The Center for Family Justice.  If you want to find out more about being a donor, contact Marissa Donnelly at or call 203-334-6154.