Fund memorializes Robert and Barbara Fitzsimmons’ long-time support, continues family legacy

Gift kicks off agency’s 175th-anniversary celebration

Seamen’s Society for Children and Families announced the creation of the Robert and Barbara Fitzsimmons Children and Family Fund at Seamen’s Society. The fund, established by their children, Laura L. Volsario and Robert J. Fitzsimmons, Jr., continues the Fitzsimmons family legacy of supporting children and families. The launch of the fund marks the organization’s year-long celebration of its 175th anniversary, which begins in April.

Barbara and Robert Fitzsimmons

Mr. and Mrs. Fitzsimmons (pictured above) were both very involved with Seamen’s Society. The late Mr. Fitzsimmons ran holiday parties for the children, organized the annual calendar drive, and helped secure the agency’s current office building on Bay Street. The late Mrs. Fitzsimmons served on the Seamen’s Society Board of Managers in the 1980s and its Advisory Board in the 1990s.

“The fund we are creating continues our parents’ desire to help children and families,” said Laura Volsario, Chairperson of Seamen’s Society’s Board of Trustees, and Vice President, Broker/Owner of Gateway Arms Realty Corp. “They had a passion for helping people and supporting the community.”

“Giving back to the community was never a question,” said Robert J. Fitzsimmons, Jr., President, Broker/Owner of Gateway Arms Realty Corp. “The question was finding the specific need, and this experiential fund establishes a way to support the good work of the agency.”

The Robert and Barbara Fitzsimmons Children and Family Fund at Seamen’s Society will fund experiential opportunities — including cultural, educational, and recreational activities — for children and families in the organization’s care.

“We are very grateful to Laura and Robert for continuing their family’s legacy by providing this extraordinary gift that will benefit many children and families in the years ahead,” said David W. Gaskin, President and CEO of Seamen’s Society. “As we approach our 175th anniversary, in April, this special tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Fitzsimmons will be the cornerstone of our celebration.”

More details about the agency’s 175th anniversary year, including virtual events, and other celebratory activities, will be announced in the weeks ahead. For information about contributions to the Robert and Barbara Fitzsimmons Children and Family Fund at Seamen’s Society, please contact Andrew Miller, Senior Director of Development at (718) 447-7740 ext. 4269.

Founded on April 2, 1846, Seamen’s Society for Children and Families, a private New York nonprofit organization, is dedicated to securing the safety and well-being of children and families. Based in St. George, Staten Island, with offices in Brownsville, Brooklyn, the organization’s mission is to provide the highest quality services to strengthen and preserve families so that children and adults have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Seamen’s Society’s programs include foster care and adoption services, family support services, domestic violence counseling, behavioral healthcare, health home care management services, a youth enrichment program, tutoring support, and a scholarship program. Seamen’s Society currently serves over 1,250 children and more than 500 families. For more information, please visit



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