David Rothenberg, Founder of The Fortune Society

Fortune Society’s Fall Benefit Honors
Bryan Stevenson, Khalil Cumberbatch, Francis Greenburger, And Celebrates
Over A Dozen Fortune Alumni

Saturday, October 3, 2015

More than a dozen men and women from around the country will be visiting The Fortune Society on Thursday, Oct 29 to be a part of our Annual Fall Benefit. [Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.]

What these individuals have in common is that they came to Fortune more than 40 years ago after being released from prison. They never went back. These stories about non-recidivists rarely make headlines.

Who are they?

Fran O’Leary came to Fortune after being released from a California prison and retired to her New Jersey home. She became our first female speaker and counselor in 1970. Nearly 20 years ago, she spoke at a conference in Hawaii. She was asked to head a program for young women in trouble and has been working and living there ever since.

Walter Strauss came directly to Fortune when he was released from Rahway State Prison in New Jersey. He worked part-time at Fortune while going to college and law school. He became the first formerly incarcerated person to be named a judge in New York State. A few years ago, he retired to Florida where he occasionally practices law.

And Mel Rivers arrived at Fortune in 1968 and he, along with Kenny Jackson, became the first staff counselors. After nearly a decade at Fortune, he became affiliated with Metropolitan Hospital in New York City. With his wife, Mel moved to Arizona and became an officer in a security company.

Other alumni expected at the Fall Benefit will be George Freeman (from Seattle), Sergio Torres (from North Carolina), Mike Lofflin (from Alabama), and New Yorkers Rod Taylor, Carlos Bristol, Jerry Outlaw, Sandy Sutton, Pam Greenspan, Vinnie DeFrancesco, and Stanley Telega.

I hope you will join me at our Fall Benefit on Thursday, October 29 at the Prince George Ballroom in Manhattan.

We are thrilled to be honoring Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, Khalil Cumberbatch, Policy Associate at the Legal Action Center and Former Client, and Francis Greenburger, Founder and President of the Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice.

Click here to purchase tickets. For more information, please contact Kristin Pulkkinen at kpulkkinen@fortunesociety.org or 347-510-3607.


Categories: Community, Events


No appointment necessary!
Call us or stop by our main
office in Long Island City
headquarters during visiting
hours to learn more about
our programs and services.

Long Island City (Main Office)

29-76 Northern Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11101

N/R/Q | Get Directions

(212) 691-7554
Mon-Thurs: 8am - 8pm
Fri: 8am - 5pm

Castle Gardens

625 W. 140th St.
New York, NY 10031

Get Directions

No walk-ins accepted at this location. Please call or visit our main office in Long Island City.

The Castle (Fortune Academy)

630 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10031

Get Directions

No walk-ins accepted at this location. Please call or visit our main office in Long Island City.