Fixler to be Honored for Dedication to Disabled Veterans

The Rockland Independent Living Center, a New City based consumer-directed, cross-disability advocacy and service organization dedicated to empowering disabled people to exert independence, choice and control in every aspect of their life, will hold its Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, October 27, 2011. During the dinner RILC will recognize two people from the Rockland County.

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Barry Fixler served in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968.  After his honorable discharge, he used the G.I. Bill to finance his undergraduate degree from the Gemological Institute of America.  Today he owns Barry’s Estate Jewelry in Bardonia.  It was at his store where he used lethal force to defend himself against armed men who attempted to rob him, ultimately attracting national attention and support for his actions.  He has also written a book, “Semper Cool,” about his experiences in the Marine Corps and in Vietnam.

Always a supporter of wounded Marines and other military personnel, Mr. Fixler has pledged to use all of the proceeds from his book to support injured combat veterans and military families who have suffered losses. One of the inspiring veterans whom Fixler has assisted, Marine Corps Veteran Sgt. Eddie Ryan, who was severely wounded and became paralyzed as a result of his service in Iraq, will attend the event along with his parents. Sgt. Ryan, who is slated to participate in the Marine Corps Marathon three days after the event in Washington DC, will assist in presenting this important award to Barry Fixler in recognition of his tireless efforts on behalf of veterans.

New York State Assemblyman, Honorable Ken Zebrowski, will be honored with the first ever “Senator Thomas P. Morahan Independent Living Award.” The award is being given to honor the life and work of the late Senator Thomas P. Morahan, who was the author of numerous groundbreaking pieces of legislation important to persons with disabilities. The late Senator’s daughter, Joan Morahan Silvestri, Rockland County Commissioner of Personnel, will be on hand to help present the award on behalf of the agency.


What:                      RILC Annual Awards Dinner

When:                     Thursday, October 27, 2011, at 6 p.m.

Where:                   Town and Country – Congers

Contact:                 George Hoehmann, Executive Director RILC (845)624-1366 ext. 111