Charles Lafitte Foundation Donates $450,000 to “Dierdre’s House”

Generosity has many faces. In the case of the Charles Lafitte Foundation, it has a big pink tongue and looks like a Labrador retriever.

Generosity has many faces. In the case of the Charles Lafitte Foundation, it has a big pink tongue and looks like a Labrador retriever.

Suzanne and Jeffrey Citron of Brielle, N.J., created a family foundation three years ago and named it after one of their beloved pets.  Since that time, the Charles Lafitte Foundation has changed many lives through the generosity of its founders who are better known for the telephone company headed by Mr. Citron, Vonage.

The Charles Lafitte Foundation’s third annual Golf Classic, held June 6, 2005 at Due Process Stables in Colts Neck, N.J., raised $450,000 for Deirdre’s House, The Center for Morris County’s Child Victims.  The center is a secure and nurturing “homey” environment intended to lessen the trauma of children who have suffered abuse or neglect, or have witnessed domestic violence.

Deirdre’s House is the only site in New Jersey where children (under age 12) can be interviewed, medically examined and treated, videotaped and counseled under one roof.  Its home-like atmosphere lessens the children’s fear during the post-Established in 1994 as the Deirdre O’Brien Child Advocacy Center, Deirdre’s House provided services last year to more than 1,043 child victims.

“We were extremely impressed with Deirdre’s House, “ said Mrs. Citron, who selects the foundation’s beneficiaries herself, along with her husband and Mrs. Vertitis.  “Its founders identified a great need in our state and the child advocacy center they established has become a national model.  At the same time, they keep administrative costs so low that 92 cents of every dollar directly benefits the children they serve.”

“We’re extremely grateful for the support of the Citrons and The Charles Lafitte Foundation,” said Maria Vinci-Savettiere, Esq., executive director of Deirdre’s House.  “Their donation will literally change lives, as it will greatly increase our ability to provide services that are desperately needed by Morris County’s child victims and their families.”

For more information about Deirdre’s House, visit www.dobcac.org.

The mission of The Charles Lafitte Foundation is to provide for and support inventive and effective ways of helping people help themselves and others around them to lead healthy, satisfying and enriched lives.  To fulfill this mission the Foundation acts as grantmaker, innovator and volunteer for four main programs:  Education, Children’s Advocacy, Medical Research and Issues, and the Arts.  For more information, visit www.charleslafitte.org.

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For more information, contact:
Robin M. Santos
rsantos@freemanpr.com

Bobbi Schlesinger
schlesinger@freemanpr.com

212-489-8585