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It’s About Identity and Community – You Are SYFS!!!

SYFSSHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – Last summer, Shrewsbury Youth & Family Services (SYFS) newly hired Executive Director; Terry Cassidy made a stunning discovery as she was getting to know folks in Shrewsbury. Many people she came in contact with did not know who SYFS was or what SYFS does. She soon began to form a plan and went to work to try and educate a community. First, she gathered a team of committed and dedicated individuals who knew a thing or two about community service, and then the team quickly zeroed in on the problem – identity! SYFS had an identity problem. It boils down to community -“I am SYFS, You are SYFS, and We are SYFS.” It’s as simple as that.

According to Cassidy, “the primary myth about SYFS is that it’s only for disadvantaged people. Not so! Counseling services are available to everyone in this community. It is estimated that at 20% of the population, 1 in 5 people suffer from a mental health disorder. This does not account for individuals that are dealing with stressful life events such as illness, divorce, death, trauma, etc.”

Ms. Cassidy further explains, “SYFS has been here for 30 years and we could not have done it without such strong community support. We hope to be here for another 30 years. We have a presence in five local schools helping to support students and their families, we have eight licensed therapists that are available to see clients, and we have seven graduate level student interns that provide case management, positive youth development programming and some counseling services. With these assets, we are also able to provide through the Coghlin Programs to all youth opportunities through programs in the schools, after school and during the summer months. These positive youth development programs promote social & moral competence, self-efficacy, positive identity, and opportunities for pro-social involvement with this community. We can all see how these protective factors strengthened in our youth benefits our community.”

SYFS is truly a community partner. We work closely with our schools, our police department, and our fire department and with members of our local clergy. We are there to help with fuel assistance and other critical needs and we have recently been a leader in the assimilation of families in transition that have recently been relocated to Shrewsbury.

You are SYFS, be a part of our story and invest in your community. Our Tenth Annual Gala takes place Saturday, March 15, 2014; 6:00 p.m. at Saint John’s High School. The annual gala is one of two major fundraisers that make up nearly half of the agency’s total operating budget.

This year’s Gala is co-chaired by Jim Heald and Amy Kotsopoulos. The event will celebrate the agency, thank generous community members who support SYFS’s mission: to enhance the quality of life for the Shrewsbury community by working collaboratively to provide counseling, education and social services. Most important we want to raise MUCH NEEDED FUNDS! This year we have three area businesses who are our Platinum sponsors: Hair Lines-Paul Mitchell Systems, Navin Haffty & Associates and Wheelabrator.

This year’s Cutting Award recipient is Central One Federal Credit Union. Central One Federal Credit Union gives so much to this community in so many ways. Shrewsbury Town Moderator, Chris Mehne, has agreed to serve as our master of ceremonies. Chris’ quick wit and great sense of timing will keep the show entertaining AND on schedule.

This year’s focus will be on entertainment as well as underscoring the work that we do. New to this year’s program is entertainment. Shrewsbury’s favorite classic rock band, Tension, will provide music for guests to get up on their feet to dance and have a great time. Band members Joe Arcabascio, Joe Cantin, Steve Grip, John O’Brien, and Tim Proch all reside in Shrewsbury

The Gala Committee (as always) ensures that vendors are selected with a Shrewsbury connection, Struck Catering will prepare a sit-down Celtic-inspired meal featuring Boneless Statler breast of chicken with lemon & rosemary glaze Indian apricot sauce. Sachs Jewelers is once again is sponsoring the drawing. This year’s piece is a custom-designed pendant featuring a Chatham created a 2.01 carat onion-cut green emerald. The emerald is accompanied by six round brilliant-cut diamonds that weigh 0.08 carats and are set into the bail. The green emerald and round brilliant-cut diamonds are set in a 14 karat white gold setting that is attached to an 18″ white gold chain. Estimated Value is $1,500. Our own co-chair, Jim Heald will be our Auctioneer and both live and silent auctions will have something for everyone. The night will be capped with a Venetian-inspired coffee bar featuring pastries and coffee to keep our late-night revelers happy. The Gala Committee wants this to be a night to remember!!

For more information, please contact event chairs Jim Heald at jim@healdchiampa.com, or Amy Kotsopoulos at amykay1117@gmail.com. Please visit www.syfs-ma.org or contact Executive Director Terry Cassidy at tcassidysyfs@townisp.com, or phone her at 508.845.6932.

The photo below exemplifies the partnership that SYFS has within our community. Photo credit: Joyce Maranto of Maranto Studios. Left to Right: Jim Heald, Gina Kuruvilla, John Masiello, Rev. Lynne Dolan, Shanley Family-Jenny, Seamus, Maeve and Rory, Sue Landry, Art Dobson, Ted Coghlin, Max Kotsopoulos, Dr. Joseph Sawyer, Michaella Petrucci, Tom Kennedy, Terry Cassidy, Jenni Lencioni, Cathy Sooy, Jim Vuona and Angela Snell.

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