Media & Latest News

A Cause that Deserves a Celebration The Leo Goodwin Foundation Makes a Generous Donation to Help Women In Distress Complete Capital Campaign.

Fort Lauderdale, FL – The Leo Goodwin Foundation announced a $250,000 gift to Women In Distress that now completes a $5 million capital campaign that was launched in 2009 to expand domestic violence services and double the number of the emergency shelter beds. The Jim & Jan Moran Family Center campus of Women In Distress opened in 2011.

As part of this gift, the Outreach Services Building on the Moran Family Center Campus will be named in honor of the Leo Goodwin Foundation. The leadership gift follows many years of support for the agency’s annual operations by the Foundation. The gift was announced by Alan Goldberg and Elliot Borkson, Trustees of the Leo Goodwin Foundation, at the Giving Breakfast hosted by the Board of Trustees of Women in Distress on Wednesday, October 29, 2014, at Signature Grand in Davie, Florida. The generous donation will complete the Project SAFE Place Capital Campaign for Women In Distress.

“We are thrilled and proud to be able to make this important contribution”, said Elliot Borkson, Vice President of the Leo Goodwin Foundation. After years of the Foundation supporting Women In Distress with their operating needs, they felt that the timing was right for a capital campaign gift. The Leo Goodwin Foundation was highly motivated by the fact that this Outreach Program means that Women In Distress will now have the ability to continue to grow the number of people they touch and expand their services to those in need. “The efforts that Women In Distress demonstrates every day are extremely vital to our community,” Borkson said.

The Leo Goodwin Foundation is dedicated to providing funding to a variety of non-profit organizations. Over the years, they have been a major participant in several organizations’ capital campaign efforts. Their goal is to enrich lives, inspire hope, and educate and promote good health through financial contributions to these organizations, striving to fulfill their vision and goals.

Women In Distress focuses their efforts on ending domestic violence abuse through intervention, education and advocacy. They offer 24-hour crisis intervention through their 24-Hour Crisis Hotline and emergency shelter, as well as counseling and support for victims and their children. In addition, they provide education and professional training on domestic violence and related topics in Broward County schools and throughout the community.

To address the increased needs of our growing community, in 2008 Women in Distress embarked on the largest capital expansion program in the history of the organization. The Project SAFE Place Capital Campaign’s goal was to raise $5 million in order to expand all services at the new Jim & Jan Moran Family Center located in Deerfield Beach, which opened in summer 2011. Prior to the expansion, Women In Distress was only able to shelter one out of every three domestic violence victims in need because shelter space was at or over capacity. As a result of the capital campaign, the emergency shelter has dramatically increased from 62 beds to 132 beds.

In addition to increased shelter space, outreach and counseling services have also expanded in order to meet the increased number of families they are now able to serve. The 6.4 acre Jim & Jan Moran Family Center also offers special enhancements such as children’s areas and playgrounds, family therapy room, Broward Sheriff’s Office substation, and much more.

“With this gift, Women In Distress is proud to have the Leo Goodwin Foundation Outreach Center as a permanent part of the Jim & Jan Moran Family Center campus”, said Women In Distress President and CEO Mary Riedel. “This gift comes during Domestic Violence Awareness Month and is a highlight as Women In Distress celebrates its 40th anniversary this year,” Riedel said.


The Leo Goodwin Foundation, a charitable foundation based in Broward County, was established by Leo Goodwin Sr. and Jr. It was the Goodwin family that founded GEICO Insurance Company.

The mission of the Foundation is to improve the lives of all of those who live in the community. Their work began with the youngest and most vulnerable in the community. Their initial investments supported the efforts of Kids In Distress; the Boys and Girls Clubs; PACE Center for Girls; SOS Children’s Villages and many others whose primary focus was on the kids.

The Trustees of the Foundation quickly saw the importance of education and made a significant commitment to Nova Southeastern University. The Goodwin name prominently appears on the buildings of the Law School at Nova’s Davie campus. In addition, the Foundation funds and distributes scholarships each year to numerous deserving students, with needs, at the Nova Law School and Broward College.

The Leo Goodwin Foundation has also sought to tackle some of the more immediate problems facing the community, including mental health issues, with a major grant to Henderson Behavioral Health; and homeless issues, with initial capital funding and ongoing commitments to Broward Partnership for the Homeless.
The Trustees are also proud of the Foundation’s commitment to the Arts, including funding for the Broward Performing Arts Center; The Museum of Discovery and Science; and Young at Art, Children’s Museum.

It is the hope of the Foundation that its efforts will benefit the community as a whole and that their positioning line, “By Doing, Good We All Win”, is fulfilled. To learn more about the Leo Goodwin Foundation, please visit or call 954.772.6863.


The mission of Women In Distress is to stop domestic violence abuse for everyone through intervention, education and advocacy. They are the only nationally accredited, state-certified, full-service domestic violence center serving Broward County. They offer 24-hour crisis intervention through their 24-Hour Crisis Hotline and emergency shelter, as well as counseling and support for victims and their children. In addition, they provide education and professional trainings on domestic violence and related topics in Broward County schools and in the community.

To learn more about how Women In Distress can help you or how you can help keep families safe and have a direct impact on a life affected by domestic violence, please call 954-760-9800 or visit


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *