Hearts Full of Hope for Victims of Domestic Abuse, Women's Center Holds 12th Annual Breakfast

Women's Center holds 12th Annual Hearts of Hope breakfast, honors Felicia Paduano, welcomes guest speaker, Amy Polacko

Hundreds of community members, including local government officials, gathered at Brookfield’s Fox Hill Inn early this morning for the 12th Annual “Hearts of Hope” Breakfast, a fundraiser for the Women’s Center. Once again, the Fox Hill Inn and owner John Royce generously donated 100% of the food and service for this sold-out fundraiser.

The annual event honored Felicia Paduano with the Service Above Self award for her tremendous support of the Women’s Center as a tireless volunteer and winner of the New England Patriots Foundation 2019 Myra Kraft Community MVP award.

For twenty-seven years, Pat Zachman has been the face and voice of the Women’s Center, serving as President and CEO, overseeing the Center’s expansion of services provided to adults and children. Today, Zachman offered thanks to all who work tirelessly to carry out the Center’s mission to serve the needs of individuals, families and the community with prevention, crisis intervention and support services with regard to domestic violence, sexual assault and other major life crises.

Zachman welcomed and introduced the morning’s guest speaker, a courageous advocate against domestic violence and a true champion for women, Ridgefield resident, Amy Polacko.

A former award-winning journalist, Columbia Journalism School grad, and television reporter, who has built a global vegan health and wellness business, Amy Polacko spoke about the importance of the Women's Center support programs, some of which she was grateful have experienced. Polacko is a divorced, single mom, an entrepreneur who recently founded an empowerment group called Strong Savvy Women for divorced women and those in transition in the Fairfield County area. 

"I was truly honored to speak at this year's breakfast - and be an advocate for women," said Polacko."The Center's support groups bring women together so they don't feel alone - they make a difference in people's lives every single day."

Polacko, who believes that it is crucial for women to see themselves as powerful and not as victims, said, "The Women's Center and our new group Strong Savvy Women are committed to helping women move forward from difficult situations and see them as a new beginning." 

Thank you to Felicia Paduano, the Breakfast Chair, the Fox Hill Inn for donating your beautiful venue, and to all of Inn’s wait staff who served with a smile and donated all of their time. Much gratitude to all who made this morning’s breakfast possible including Benefactors Linde, Breakfast Advocates, Lori Berisford, Elaine Cox, and Friends Felicia Paduano, Glori & Adam Norwitt and Western Connecticut State University.

Save the date for the Women’s Center Gala, “An Evening Together” on April 3. Learn more here

Founded in 1975, this year marks 42 years that the Women’s Center has been a safe haven for victims of domestic and sexual violence in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties.

To learn more about the Women’s Center or to have the Center visit your school, click here.

To become a volunteer, click here.



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