Portal to Hopes Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Helping Families

Celebrating 20 years of services in the cause to end domestic violence, Portal To Hope (“PTH”) honored Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, State Senator Sal DiDomenico and the DiDomenico Foundation and Everett Superintendent Frederick Foresteire for their long-term commitment to the organization and for serving as pathfinders, whereby victims of domestic violence are connected to PTH by government and the schools.  Recognizing the dedicated support of people over the years, PTH, also, awarded its service heroes: Eagle Bank, Everett Co-operative Bank, Madeline English School, MassBadge, Medford Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club of Everett and Verizon HopeLine; and special recognitions were given to Community Action Programs Inter-City, Empire Beauty School and Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children for their programmatic partnership support.  Local businesses and religious groups honored were: the Law Offices of Lungo-Koehn and Collins, which law firm has been committed in its partnership with PTH to ensure that victims of domestic violence have access to legal representation in the courts; Hallmark Health, which agency has provided office space for PTH since 2000; and the Immaculate Conception Parish of Malden, St. John the Evangelist Church in Winthrop, St. Mary’s Parish of Lynn and Zion Church Ministries.  In honor of the late Malden Police Sergeant Henry G. Fallon, PTH awards law enforcement officers who are nominated by victims of domestic violence and/or their peers for their special acts in serving victims of domestic violence.  For its 20th Anniversary Celebration, this honor was bestowed upon Everett Police Patrolman Nicole O’Donnell, Medford Police Detective Patricia Sullivan and Everett Police Detective Daniel Tucker.  On-hand to recognize this year’s law enforcement honorees were former recipients, Everett Police Chief Steven Mazzie and Lynn Police Captain Christopher Reddy.  PTH’s Special Courage Award was given to Nicole Rowe, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing at RSA, the Security Division of EMC, for her work in aiding survivors and in helping to found PTH and create service programs.  High School students Lucas Bernudez, Siddhartha Shrestha and Stacy Silva were honored for their two-year commitment in facilitating a youth-led club via PTH’s Youth Leadership Program that has been supported by Verizon HopeLine.

PTH began providing support services to victims of domestic violence in Malden in 1996 onsite at the Immaculate Conception Parish, and the organization quickly expanded to Lynn that same year via the help of St. Mary’s Parish.  In 1998, PTH partnered with then Mayor David Ragucci and Everett Police Chief James Rogers to create the first law enforcement program of its kind in the Commonwealth whereby victims and their families could access support onsite at their local police station.  This unique program, known as EVAPorate Violence, has been featured on the national talk show, ‘The Montel Williams Show’, and has been awarded on the local, state and national levels for its innovation and improvement in city livability.  Through the support of government officials who recognized PTH’s dedication to the communities it serves and its ability to provide cost-effective services thanks to its grassroots partnership development in Everett, Lynn, Malden, Medford and Winthrop, PTH expanded its services to Medford and Winthrop, via the help and support of State Representative Paul Donato and Speaker Robert DeLeo.

“While Portal To Hope began as one story, the story is really now yours,” said Deborah Fallon, Founder of PTH.  “We would not be the grassroots organization that we are today, serving some of the most vulnerable people in our communities – those whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence crime, without your guidance, ideas support and commitment; and we thank you for your own leadership in the cause,” Fallon continued to say to the sold-out crowd at Breakaway.

If you or someone you know is in need of help from abuse, or if you want to get involved in the cause to end domestic violence, please call (781) 338-7678, or visit PTH’s website at www.portaltohope.org.

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