By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services (SYFS) is planning something special for its upcoming Evening of Giving Gala. On Saturday, May 18, guests will convene at The Haven Country Club, 369 Cross St, Boylston, where they will experience “A Spring Evening in Paris.”
The soiree will focus on an evening of socializing over cocktails, dinner with a French twist, decadent desserts and dancing to benefit the vital counseling and mental health services that SYFS provides to its communities.
“As a small nonprofit, SYFS relies on fundraising to meet a large portion of our expenses associated with providing mental health and related services. The upcoming Evening of Giving is our major fund raiser and we are grateful for the support of the community,” remarked Thomas Kennedy, board chair.
“We have a four-month waiting list for our services,” noted Executive Director Christine Mowry. “We are working really hard on prevention and education and just applied for more funding for our mental health first aid.”
Mental health first aid teaches how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.
Mowry said that the senior population is another growing population in need of support. They are working closely with the Council on Aging to provide more in-home outreach.
“Eighty-five percent of our clients are adolescents where there is an increasing prevalence of anxiety depression and suicide. We are also working hard to support the LGBTQ community,” Mowry reported.
She shared her grave concerns over the increase in vaping among teens and the marijuana dispensaries that are due to open in town in the coming months.
This year’s chosen fund is the agency’s general fund and will be led by none other than longtime SYFS friend, former board member and this year’s Harry S. Cutting Jr. recipient Jim Heald. He will be running in the Boston Marathon on behalf of SYFS.
“We are really excited to welcome guests for this year’s Evening of Giving,” said Melissa Pride-Fahs, first vice chair and event organizer. “This event is so critical to the operating budget for the agency and the services provided. We are greatly appreciative for all of the support from those attending, as well from our sponsors.”
Tickets to the Evening of Giving are $200 per person. To purchase tickets, visit www.classy.org/event/2019-evening-of-giving-a-spring-evening-in-paris/e222365. The deadline to purchase tickets is Saturday, May 4, or until tickets are sold out.
For more information about SYFS, visit www.syfs-ma.org.