SYFS holds ‘Evening of Giving’ fundraiser

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SYFS Distinguished Partners and Presenting Gala Sponsors Howard Grossman, Grossman Development Group, LLC/Lakeway Commons, LLC, and John and Susan Haffty
Photo/courtesy Jeanine Vitale

Shrewsbury – On May 18 Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services, Inc. (SYFS) held its largest fundraiser, An Evening of Giving, at The Haven Country Club in Boylston. Nearly 200 people filled the venue to support the work of the area’s only private, nonprofit social services agency.

Guests enjoyed a sumptuous French dinner and were entertained by SYFS 2019 Harry S. Cutting Award winner James Heald, as he emceed the evening’s successful “Fund A Need”. The fun continued throughout the evening as guests took to the dance floor.

Executive Director Christine Mowry stated that the most prevalent issues treated at the agency are anxiety, depression, trauma, eating disorders, and substance use and that the clinic has seen an increase of over 30 percent in counseling hours over the past year.

“Of the 200 people in this room this evening, 100 of us will experience a mental health condition in our lifetime. There are over 1000 students in our middle and high schools who will experience a diagnosable mental illness and 50 percent of those illnesses will have an onset before the age of 14. These issues aren’t something that happens to other people…these are issues that impact each one of us,” Mowry said. “We must be brave and talk about this as easily as we talk about the weather. We all have someone we know who is struggling, alone and afraid. We need your help to ensure we can provide the support they need.”

The evening was made possible by SYFS Distinguished Partners and Presenting Sponsors Lakeway Commons, LLC/Grossman Development Group, LLC and the Haffty Family Fund. Among those in attendance at the “Spring Evening in Paris” themed event were:

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito; state Senator Michael Moore; state Representatives Hannah Kane, Kim Ferguson and Jay Barrows; Shrewsbury School Committee Chair Sandra Fryc; School Committee members Dr. Dale Magee and Jason Palitsch; Shrewsbury Selectmen Beth Casavant, James Kane and John Samia; and Shrewsbury Housing Authority members Paul Campaniello and Kathy McSweeney.

In addition to outpatient counseling, SYFS provides social-emotional learning programs for middle-schoolers, Mental Health First Aid Certification training, Relationship Abuse and Violence education for high school students, and is the lead agency in The Shrewsbury Coalition for Addiction Prevention and Education. SYFS works in close partnership with the Shrewsbury Public Schools to provide family support services and will also be supporting the Grafton Public School District during the 2019-2020 school year. As a 501 (c) (3), the agency relies heavily on corporate sponsorships and individual donations to provide its critical services.

SYFS plans to use the proceeds to continue its growth and expansion of clinical services in an effort to decrease the current 5-month waitlist for counseling services and better support the increasing needs of the community. To inquire about services or to support SYFS, visit syfs-ma.org.