Crime Victims Support Services sets fall fundraiser

Crime Victims Support Services of the North Bronx, Inc. is conducting a fall fundraiser to cover operating costs.
Photo courtesy of Crime Victims Support Services of the North Bronx, Inc.

After assisting crime victims for two decades, a local non-profit program is in need of help following recent state mandated funding cuts.

Crime Victims Support Services of the North Bronx, Inc. will host its fall fundraiser ‘An Evening with Elvis’ on Friday, November 3 from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the American Turner Club on 748 Clarence Avenue.

The event features live musical performances by Elvis tribute artist Patrick Perone, a buffet dinner, cash bar, raffles and 50/50.

Tickets costs $60 per person with all proceeds going toward CVSS.

The fundraiser’s goal is to raise $60,000 to cover program costs.

“We don’t receive the same kind of support like faith-based or veterans-based groups do, but instead we heavily rely on people who are sympathic to the circumstances crime victims face,” shared Joanne Cicero, CVSS executive director.

She said the non-profit’s upcoming fundraiser has not received a substantial response despite advertising, direct mailing and emailing efforts.

Cicero added, CVSS’ fundraising campaign on Razoo, an online crowd funding site, has only received contributions from two donors.

“Innocent victims of crime are just like you and me – real people in real life situations, not a bunch of statistics in a report. I know because I have personally experienced the tragedy of victimization,” expressed Cicero.

On June 20, 1995, Cicero’s 17-year-old son, Paul was senselessly murdered by a violent street gang searching for someone else that night.

This tragedy prompted her to become an advocate for crime victims’ rights over the last 20 years.

Founded in 2005, CVSS provides clients assistance in filing for compensation from the NYS Office of Victims Services which covers funeral expenses, loss of income, medical bills, mental health services and job retainment among others.

The program’s trained advocates provide comprehensive direct services and support to underserved victims of crime and violent crime throughout NYC’s communities.

CVSS provides free services as crisis therapy, counseling, personal advocacy, criminal justice advocacy, court accompaniment, homicide support groups, domestic violence advocacy, lock replacements, as well as information and referrals for clients.

The non-profit guides clients through the criminal justice system and provides them access to assistance from other governmental and private agencies.

In 2014, the state revamped the competitive Request for Proposal process by making it online accessible.

Cicero said CVSS was awarded a three-year contract effective October 2014 and was spared from closure unlike 18 other non-profit state programs.

She explained the program’s funding was cut in 2014 by NYS OVS, however the funding they did secure does not cover all of CVSS’ operating costs.

“We hope that people can find it in their hearts to help crime victims by attending this fundraiser or by donating to our program,” said Cicero.

Located at 1138 Neill Avenue, CVSS is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

To contribute your tax-deductible donation, visit www.razoo.com/organization/Crime-Victims-Support-Services-Of-The-North-Bronx.

For details and tickets, contact Cicero at (718) 823-4925 or jcicero@northeastbronx.org.

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