NEW CITY, NY – Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick presented Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland County with a check for $13,000 and honored BBBS president and CEO Gillian Ballard with a commendation award for 25 years of service with BBBS at the organization’s annual gala event Friday night in New City at La Terrazza Restaurant.
Senator Reichlin-Melnick secured the funds in the 2021 New York State budget. The funds come in the form of a grant of $13,000 from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services in support of the Court Ordered Supervised Visitation Program.
State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick (D-Rockland/Westchester) said, “Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland County is a phenomenal organization that is deeply dedicated to serving the children of Rockland County, and I am honored to be able to deliver this critical funding to help support their efforts in providing services to the most vulnerable children in our county.”
“Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland County extends heartfelt gratitude to Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick for securing these grant funds,” said BBBS of Rockland President and CEO Gillian Ballard. “Now more than ever, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland is stepping up to find innovative ways to serve its community and, the Senator’s commitment to a service providing non-custodial parents an opportunity to meet each week with their child(ren) in a safe, child friendly environment under the supervision of court approved supervisors, is truly appreciated.”
The Supervised Visitation Program is an effective and necessary tool that promotes the bond between a parent and child where there are safety or other issues present that may make conventional, unsupervised visitation contrary to a child’s best interests. The program aids in supporting the critical social and emotional development needed to help build resilience and promote the mental health and well-being of the many children served throughout Rockland County.
Senator Reichlin-Melnick also presented a special commendation award to BBBS President and CEO Gillian Ballard at the event, commemorating her 25th year of service to the organization.
“Congratulations to President Ballard, who has been a steadfast champion for BBBS of Rockland for two and a half decades, and has touched countless children’s lives during her tenure,” Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick said. “I am thankful for her leadership and work, and wish her the best of luck as she continues to steer and grow BBBS into the future.”