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September 2012

Courage to Speak Foundation opens resource center

Hour photo / Alex von Kleydorff
Courage to Speak Foundation Co-Founders Ginger and Larry Katz
with program assistant Lauren Tallman in their new space on East


Hour Staff WriterThe Hour Publishing Company

NORWALK — The Courage to Speak Foundation cut the ribbon on its Family Resource Center Friday morning.

The foundation, started by Ginger and Larry Katz after their son, Ian Eccarino, died of an accidental drug overdose in 1996, has made anti-drug presentations at schools across the country, but the resource center will allow students and parents increase access to the foundation’s materials.

“We noticed, in many communities, the parents and the students wanted more. They kept on contacting us and letting us know. Little index cards were sent by the teachers,” Ginger Katz told the crowd assembled at foundation headquarters. “People call us, we get calls from parents whose children are using, from parents who want to know a little more about prevention, parents whose children who have lost their lives. That’s why we decided to call this the resource room.

“It’s an added addition that complements all the things we do. I think that’s the key.”

The resource center, located in the foundation’s headquarters on the second floor of 71 East Avenue — in “the hub of Norwalk” according to Katz — will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. There, parents and students can pick up brochures, pamphlets, books and videos in English and Spanish.

Along with foundation staff and directors, Mayor Richard Moccia, police Chief Thomas Kulhawik and Interim Superintendent Tony Daddona, attended the ribbon cutting and open house. State Reps. Gail Lavielle, R-143, and Chris Perone, D-143, and State Sen. Toni Boucher, R-26 turned up shortly after.

“When you really think about the name of this organization, it sums up exactly what part of the problem is: People do not have the courage, the inclination, whatever perception, to speak up when they see things,” Moccia said. Visit