Cyclist to pedal 47 days in cross country trip, to raise $1.4 million to renovate The Empower House Safehouse

BRIDGEPORT, CT — Alan Masarek, of Milford, an avid bicyclist and co-chair of The Empower House fundraising drive, will cycle 3,800 miles as a pledge challenge benefitting The Center for Family Justice’s newly acquired double-sized safehouse, currently under renovation.

“Talk about going the extra mile! Alan is going the extra 3,800 miles!” said Debra A. Greenwood, president and CEO of The Center for Family Justice. “He’s pedaling to protect victims of domestic violence and we are blessed to have him as co-chair of our Empower House fundraising team.”

During Covid in 2020, domestic violence grew by 40 percent in the region, causing a critical shortage of housing for victims seeking refuge. With plans to open in 2022, the new safehouse will provide temporary housing and support services to domestic violence and human trafficking victims primarily from Bridgeport, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford, Trumbull and Easton.

Masarek, who will be riding alongside 20 bicyclists in the Trek Bicycle “Bucket List” trip, which began on Aug. 18 in Portland, Ore., decided to structure his ride as a fundraising campaign. He hopes to generate enough corporate sponsorships and donations on his EmpowerRide to close a 40 percent fundraising gap in the $3.5 million project. His trip ends on Oct. 3 in Portland, Maine.

His itinerary and progress will be tracked on the EmpowerRide page. Donors can sponsor him with a $100 per mile pledge or make donations in any amount. Masarek’s daily cycling adventures will be posted on CFJ’s social media sites.

CFJ, a Bridgeport-based nonprofit located at 735 Fairfield Ave., celebrated its 126th Anniversary this year. Those needing emergency housing and support services should call its hotline at 203-384-9559 for immediate help.

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