Welcome to the

Saint Joseph Parenting Center

2023 End-Of-Year Newsletter


We have a lot to be grateful for and as we near the end of 2023, on behalf of myself, Saint Joseph Parenting Center (SJPC) staff, and the board of directors, thank you for your generosity to our mission of educating parents to produce better outcomes for kids.

The last few years have been wrought with challenges but also opportunities. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and all its implications provided us an opportunity to ramp up an across-the-board outreach plan to meet people where they were. SJPC staff not only increased the number of face-to-face parent recruitment efforts, but we also enrolled more volunteers and donors. In 2022, we opened a new center in Danbury, CT, and through our centers in both Danbury and Stamford we are poised to serve over 400 parents. Even as we grow, however, our mission and belief remain the same: Children will benefit from an informed and resourceful parent who is better able to demonstrate love.

“SJPC’s program had made me a wiser and more strategic person so that I can deal with the day-to-day problems now of parenting my children. Our children do not come with a manual. We need to be ready 24/7 to make sure our children are not lacking attention, care, and love. Thanks to all the facilitators and staff of Saint Joseph Parenting Center.” -N.S. 2023

FY23 Accomplishments

· SJPC’s D.A.D. (Dads Are The Difference) Program was certified by the state of CT through the Department of Social Services

· Graduated 92 fathers who completed at least 90% of our celebrated DAD Program

· Relaunched the Women’s Circle to empower even more moms

· Received the green light and funding to open a third center in Bridgeport, CT

As you can see, Saint Joseph Parenting Center has grown in Fairfield County since its founding to provide services to needy families. You have played a crucial role. As we prepare for 2024, we are asking for your continued, generous support. SJPC serves the least, last and left out, and your financial gift will have a significant impact on future generations. Providing education to help break the cycle of unhealthy parenting builds up parents, supports children, and improves communities.

With a total of three centers in less than two years, sustainable funding will ensure we meet the needs of families in the greater Stamford, Danbury, and Bridgeport communities. Can we count on you to invest your year-end giving in our worthy cause? Our children’s futures depend on it.

We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Holiday Season. Thank you for caring.



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Our Stamford location continues to grow the number of parents we serve. FOR PROGRAM YEAR 2023, we have served 282 parents AS OF NOVEMBER 2023.

NOVEMBER 14th & 16th Thanksgiving Dinner

“At SJPC we have a special annual tradition.

We host Thanksgiving Dinner for our families

to celebrate and appreciate the many blessings we share.

With a fall theme and fairy glowing lights, our parents and their children were mesmerized.

We served families restaurant style allowing them to order off of a delicious menu that featured classic and cultural dishes.

We chatted, we laughed as we enjoyed the food and each other’s company.

We ended the night with gratitude and with thanks to each other,

especially our facilitators, board members, sponsors, volunteers, and donors

who made this event successful.

With full hearts and stomachs, parents took home memories along with pumpkin bread and pies, oh my--and so quickly came the good-byes.

We look forward to next year when we can do it all again.

Until then…. Happy Thanksgiving from SJPC family!”

-Portia Howard & Rhonda Neal

We were able to host 48 parents on Tuesday and 15 parents on Thursday! Many thanks to our volunteers who helped make the dinner so successful: BJ Gedney, Bob Petit, Carmen Seleme McDermott, Cynthia Homes, and Patrick Reed. We especially want to express thanks to Mary Rather who donated 75 pies.

OCTOBER 18th | Volunteer Celebration

at Southbay Greenwich

“Our facilitators provide invaluable education and support to parents. You witness firsthand how our parents benefit from spending Tuesday and Thursday evenings with you, absorbing the weekly topics, sharing their experiences, and receiving the support they require.”

-Monica Castro

Stamford Volunteer Coordinator to the honorees

35+ guests gathered to celebrate the work of

Ximena Barrera

Silvia Mendoza

Claudia Gislason

Benjamin Gallegos

Keiko Castaneda

Hamp Miller

Maylen Martinez

Ashley Telesco

Stevenson Charlot

Maria Alexander

Carolina Figueroa

Rosemary Filgueiras

Helmut Osorio

Melissa Stanley

Gabriela Parada

Ingrid Pasten

Francisco Cardona

Carine Goor

Adriana Tutillo

Adriana Molina

Samanta Yepes

Lisa Kouzoujian

Measi O’Rourke*

Carmen Seleme McDermott*

Barbara Hecht*

*indicates Board Member


  • served 103 parents through classes which is above our goal of 100

  • Launched the women’s circle on 11/16 with 15 moms

  • 28 Dads completed the D.A.D. program

Partnered WITH a local group to provide bunkbeds to 5 families which were wooden beds built by SJPC Men’s Group from Hopewell Junction, NY. We went with them to each clients home where they assembled the beds and included all bedding for each.

hosted a Thanksgiving Potluck - Nov. 14



#SeasonOfGiving Gala

Oh what a night! On Thursday, November 2, SJPC Executive Director, Rhonda Neal and the SJPC Board hosted SJPC Season of Giving Gala at the Country Club of New Canaan. With the support of our Sponsors, Board of Directors, Friends, and Staff, we were able to exceed our fundraising goal and set a new standard!

To start the evening we were treated to a special performance from award winning flutist Sherry Winston. She has graced the international stage performing for Stevie Wonder and President Clinton.

The highlight of the evening is the Imagine Award which is presented to an individual who achieves greatness in positively impacting the lives of CT children and parents. This year, the SJPC Imagine Award honored our past Chairman of the Board, Gene Waggaman III. Through his Outreach duties, Gene became familiar with several struggling nonprofits in Stamford and over the next twenty years chaired the Mayor’s Focus on Youth Board, the Council of Churches and Synagogues, Domus and finally Saint Joseph Parenting Center.

Our annual event celebrates SJPC’s mission to Educate the Parent, Protect the Child and recognizes SJPC accomplishments and plans for the future. With heartfelt thanks to all our volunteers and the over 200 guests who supported and gave generously to this wonderful evening!

thank you to our sponsors!

Click here for more photos!

JULY 31st Annual Golf Fundraiser at the Griffith E. Harris Golf Course - "The Griff"

Thank you to those who participated at our Annual SJPC Golf Outing! We were excited to see over 80 golfers enjoying the beautiful day at "the Griff.”

Through your generosity, we were able to raise $33,274 net! These funds will help us continue our mission to prevent child abuse and neglect through parenting education, resource and referral support. Click here for more photos.

On behalf of the SJPC family, thank you for your continued support!

JUNE 8th First Annual Womens Luncheon

Saint Joseph Parenting Center held a spring luncheon to support #SJPCDanbury. It was a sold out event at Cafe on the Green - Richter Park Danbury. A special thanks to our key note speakers: Megan Searfoss, the founder of the Ridgefield Running Company, and Bella, an SJPC alumni who graciously told her story about how our program helped her deal with postpartum depression. Click here for more photos from the event.

To all who attended our luncheon building a world where all children live free of child abuse and neglect, we could not do this without your help! Thank you for supporting our mission!

APRIL 26th Annual Benefit Breakfast

Caroline Simmons, the mayor of Stamford, proudly recognized SJPC in its mission to prevent child abuse and neglect.

The mayor and 199 others attended the event. Among the distinguished guests were Connecticut State Representatives Patricia Billie Miller and Tom O’Dea. The breakfast was held at Sarafina in the Italian Center.

This recurring event is held in April which is national child abuse awareness month. Click here for more photos from the event.

MARCH 26th SJPC Stamford 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament

Boys & Girls Club

Stillwater Center Stamford

Click here for more photos.


In 2023, we got to expand the SJPC family! Please welcome 7 new staff members.

We are excited to announce an addition to our Saint Joseph Parenting Center Family, April Lichtman, who will fill the newly created position of Marketing and Social Media Associate. April will support the Development Department in the planning and execution of marketing activities and will report directly to Micaela Malin, Fundraising Manager. April will be integral in driving social media and digital efforts and in contributing to SJPC’s growth both in terms of brand belief, awareness, and profitability.

2023 RECAP


Graduated 92 fathers who completed at least 90% of our celebrated D.A.D. Program. WITH our D.A.D. enrollment surpassing our goal by 103%.


COMING in 2024 - opening a third center in Bridgeport, CT


SJPC’s D.A.D. (dads are the difference) Program was certified by the state of CT through the Department of Social Services


Relaunched the Women’s Circle to empower even more moms



*tentative dates, subject to change

Pickleball Tournament | Pickleball America Stamford

February 7, 2024 - 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

3 on 3 Basketball

March 23 or 24 2024

Benefit Breakfast

April 25, 2024 - 7:30 am - 9:30 am

Spring Luncheon

May 23 or 30 2024 - 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm TBD

Golf Tournament

July 29, 2024 - 11:00 am - 8:00 pm

15th Anniversary Gala

November 2024

End of Year Networking Event | Sign of Whale Stamford

December 12, 2024 - 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm






Thank you to the following foundations, community and corporate partners for supporting our mission in 2023!

And to the following individuals for their contributions and work...

Gerard Sweeney - SJPC Board Chairman

James O’Rourke - SJPC Vice Chairman

Anthony P. Della Pietra Jr. - SJPC Secretary

Bob Petit - SJPC Treasurer


Mark Bronzo, Jim Green, Judith Kallen, Measi O’Rourke, Mary Rather, Anita Rice, Barbara Hecht, Carmen Seleme-McDermott, Katherine Jacullo, Cynthia Holmes, Lucille Paolantonio, Barbara Reilly, Alan Chapple


Senator Patricia Billie Miller