BRIDGEPORT, CT — The Center for Family Justice honored Band Central, a local nonprofit dedicated to using the engaging power of live musical performances to support Fairfield County charities, as the recipient of its 2021 Community Partner of the Year Award.
The annual award recognizes a group or organization that has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to its efforts to bring hope, safety, and empowerment into the lives of adults and children impacted by domestic and sexual violence in the six local communities it serves.
Band Central and its founder, Rob Fried of Redding, were honored at CFJ’s annual meeting at Wolfe Parke in Monroe on June 30.
“We are thrilled to recognize Band Central and Rob Fried with this incredibly well-deserved honor,” said Debra. A. Greenwood, CFJ’s president and CEO. “The efforts of Band Central to help us share and advance our mission of providing life-saving and life-changing services to the victims we serve has been extraordinary. We are honored to highlight this truly innovative nonprofit and recognize all the work its members have done and continue to do for so many deserving nonprofits in our region.”
“It’s an honor to be recognized by CFJ because they are a fabulous organization that stands behind something very important which is ending trauma and abuse in our communities,” said Fried.
Since its inception, Band Central has helped more than 60 Fairfield County nonprofits raise more than $4.3 million dollars through the production of more than 125 live musical events. The nonprofit offers a unique, entertaining, and upbeat approach to philanthropy by working to connect musicians, nonprofits, audiences, and donors through themed music concerts.
In the last year, Band Central helped support CFJ during the Covid-19 pandemic as it experienced an unprecedented 25 percent increase in the demand for its free, confidential crisis and supportive services for both domestic and sexual violence.
Band Central members supported CFJ at its 2020 virtual Annual Meeting and its 2021 Jubilee Virtual Gala, which celebrated its 125th year as a community-based nonprofit. Its contributions helped CFJ raise tens of thousands of dollars to help provide free, confidential services to more than 4,500 people each year living in the communities of Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford, and Trumbull.
In addition to the support of Band Central, Fried has become a valued member of the volunteer committee behind the Empower House Project, CFJ’s ongoing capital campaign to raise $3 million to support the construction of a new domestic violence safe house for its clients. Current plans call for CFJ to open the Empower House in late fall 2021.
“The commitment of Rob and Band Central to Empower House has helped us move this critically important project forward,” said Greenwood. “This support is helping us fulfill a dream of creating a new, expanded private residence for domestic violence survivors which will help us house and support more victims in our communities who are urgently in need of safe, comfortable shelter.”
In addition to Band Central, CFJ honored its Volunteers of the Year, Employee of the Year and Partner of the Year at the June 30 annual meeting.