(MINEOLA, NY) – Nassau County Legislator Ellen W. Birnbaum (D-Great Neck) was delighted to honor Lois Schaffer on Monday, March 21, 2016 at the 18th Annual Trailblazers Awards Ceremony at the Nassau County Legislative Chamber in Mineola. As part of Women’s History Month, the county legislators honor outstanding women in their legislative districts who have “blazed trails” through the wonderful work they do in their communities.
Lois Schaffer is an activist, dance-enthusiast, coordinator, administrator and grants writer for non-profit organizations who has devoted her energies to protecting human rights. Lois’s activism prompted her to participate in marches and rallies in support of the civil rights movement and to protest the war in Vietnam. In 2008, Lois tragically lost her daughter Susie to gun violence when she was shot by teen-aged burglars in her home in St. Louis, Missouri. Lois had been actively working to reduce gun violence even before her daughter's murder but since the tragic event, her energies have been even more focused on this pressing issue in order to honor her daughter's memory and prevent tragedies for other families.
In 2013, Lois wrote a book titled, “The Unthinkable: Life, Loss and a Mother’s Mission to Ban Illegal Guns.” She hopes that this book will help to counteract the violence and easy accessibility of guns. Lois has been donating copies of the book to local colleges because as she says, students are “our future.”
Her ongoing mission to reduce gun violence has included speaking about sensible gun legislation to various local and national groups, attending press conferences, gun-control rallies and the legislative hearings on gun control in Connecticut after the Newtown massacre. Lois and her husband David live in Great Neck. They have a son, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.
PHOTO CAPTION: Lois Schaffer and Legislator Ellen W. Birnbaum