STAMFORD, Conn. – New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich is set to deliver the keynote address at the 14th annual Voices of Courage Spring Luncheon at the Stamford Marriott Hotel on Thursday, May 19.
The luncheon is hosted each year by the Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC), which serves Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, Darien, Wilton and Weston.
According to a statement from the group, Herzlich, at 6-feet-4-inches tall and 244 pounds, “may seem like an unlikely champion of those who have been impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault, but for the past several years has advocated passionately for greater awareness within the NFL and beyond...”
The DVCC said Herlich is sincere in his desire to change the locker room culture and to, as he puts it, “redefine what it means to be a man.”
Herzlich has been involved in the cause since 2010, when he learned that his girlfriend, and now his wife, Danielle, had been the victim of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her father.
The couple has since been involved with a number of domestic violence organizations.
This year’s luncheon will honor Stamford resident Patricia Phillips, who has championed the rights of and promoted safety for victims of domestic violence for nearly four decades.
In 1979, Phillips created the Stamford Mayor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence, bringing together local police, government officials, hospitals, churches and nonprofit organizations to collectively address the issue. She later founded and served on the board of Domestic Violence Services, now the DVCC.
A current member of DVCC’s Advisory Board and one of the agency’s most impressive and staunchest allies, Phillips will receive the 2016 Voices of Courage award.
“The fact that we have Pat Phillips, who has been doing this work for 40 years in her own very determined way, and Mark Herzlich, who has come to it more recently and is equally determined to make a difference, is just phenomenal,” said DVCC Executive Director Rachelle Kucera Mehra. “Both have recognized that domestic violence is a significant problem and have made it their mission to do something about it.”
The luncheon will offer a single-item live auction that will give the winner and a friend the opportunity to attend a New York Giants training day! A silent auction will offer a Giants football and helmet signed by Herzlich, VIP tickets to a New York Mets game, and a variety of shopping events. Baskets featuring a number of gift items will be raffled off.
Event co-chairs Teresa Alasio of Norwalk and Janill Sharma of Stamford and a committee of 12 area residents are organizing the fundraiser, which supports critically needed agency programs.
For tickets, sponsorship opportunities or information, visit the DVCC website or call 203-588-9100.