NEW WINDSOR – FEARLESS! That’s the new name for Safe Homes of Orange County, which was announced during the organizations annual gala by Executive Director Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier.
More than 300 people attending the event, applauded the name change. For over 33 years, Safe Homes has been working toward the elimination of intimate partner violence, teen dating violence, and human trafficking in our community.
Directly following a candlelight vigil that honored people who did not survive domestic abuse, the evenings honorees were introduced.
This year the Celebration of Hope Gala honored Kristen Feden Gibbons, Blaise Gomez, Indigo Salon, and Ada Lara.
Prosecutor Kristen Gibbons Feden is perhaps best know for her successful prosecution of Bill Cosby. Feden, spoke about her work, not only on the Cosby trial, but on many other sex crime trials and her quest to bring justice for victims.
Local cable news reporter Blaise Gomez went public after she found herself on the receiving side of abuse at the hands of her partner. She said she would not allow herself to be a victim, and immediately reached out to Safe Homes, where she knew people and resources would be ready to assist her during a very difficult time.
Local high school student Ada Lara was a young child when she learned that her mother had been killed by her partner. She recounted how Safe Homes was there for her family with toys at Christmas which inspired her to give back to the organization. She now organizes a toy drive to ensure every child has a toy during the holidays.
Owners of Indigo Salon were recognized for not only raising funds for Safe Homes, but encouraging other businesses to do the same. More than a dozen businesses have joined them to help raise much needed funds and to help educate members of the community.
“Safe Homes from this moment forward, will be completely and utterly, fearless,” said Kostyal-Larrier. “We will not apologize. We will be FEARLESS!, and yes our name has an exclamation point,” she proclaimed.