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Community Mental Health Services Board to Celebrate and Recognize Local Community of Care

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Community Mental Health Services Board to Celebrate and Recognize Local Community of Care

Friday, May 21, 2010
On Tuesday May 25, 2010 the Tompkins County Community Mental Health Services Board will hold a celebration event to recognize achievements in the areas of mental health, developmental disabilities and chemical dependency challenges. The celebration will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Ithaca Holiday Inn, 222 S.Cayuga Street.

The goal of this event is to recognize the accomplishments and service of individuals, families, programs and organizations, to celebrate successes and to highlight the system of care in our community

Recipients of awards for personal achievement will include: Jeffrey Quick, Elizabeth Grantham, Natasha Zmitrowitz, Josh Eller, Michael Bennett and Wayne Gooden. Recipients of awards for Outstanding Service will include Cyndie Allmendinger (TC Community Action), Ronald Schoneman (Tompkins County Mental Health/A&D Council), Jan Lynch (Challenge Industries), Shannon Tiffany (Tompkins County Mental Health), Dr. Adam Law, Timothy C. Marchell (Cornell), Kristin Letourneau (City of Ithaca Youth Bureau), Steve Bieler (Veterans Issues), Starlight Presents (MHA). The Residents and Staff of the Lakeview Mental Health SRO will receive the New Service Award. The eventwill also feature music by recording artist Jacque Washington and pianist Alejandro Bernard-Papachryssanthou.

The featured speaker at this event will be Tom O"Clair, a father of three and now a member of the New York State Office of Mental Health team, working as a Family Affairs Specialist in the Bureau of Recipient Affairs, has been advocating for mental health parity in NYS since October of 2002. Before that, he was an advocate for his own son Timothys mental health for four and a half years; up until the time his sons battle with Depression, ADHD and ODD, came to a tragic end through Timothy"s suicide. From that tragedy, Tom developed a determination that all people, young or adult, should not have to suffer from their mental illness, behavioral or addictive disorders. This determination has made him an advocate for others suffering from psychiatric illnesses. He has traveled State wide in effort to bring awareness to this discrimination, educate, advocate and build grass roots support for mental health parity in New York State now known as "Timothy"s Law".

The Board has taken on this event which celebrates people whos personal achievements provide hope and inspiration for others as well as individuals who provide positive and dedicated direct care in our community. Tompkins County has a fine system of care, involving many partner organizations, in which people can and do accomplish amazing things in the face of significant challenges.

This event is open to the public. Please RSVP to Judy De Grusso, 274-6302 or email her at by May 21. A fifteen dollar donation is appreciated from those who can afford it, to help defray expenses. All are welcome without regard to ability to pay.