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News and upcoming events from your neighbors and non-profits across Saratoga County. Unless otherwise noted, all posts are press releases provided by the organization. Have something to share? Email Curated by Community Content Coordinator Aubree Cutkomp.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

SCCCMH Annual Dinner and Fundraiser

SCCCMH Annual Dinner and Fundraiser
The Saratoga County Citizens Committee for Mental Health (SCCCMH) honored Senator Roy McDonald with its 2012 SCCCMH Citizen of the Year Award at their Annual Dinner and Fundraiser on May 3rd.    Longfellows Restaurant played host to this event offering delicious appetizers, a wonderful buffet dinner and warm apple crisp for dessert. The silent auction had several fun packages to bid on, and the many raffles provided an opportunity for everyone to win. 
Peggy Lounsbury, Chairperson of the SCCCMH and MC for the evening, welcomed those in attendance and then rattled off a few jokes by completing the phrase, “I am so NOT funny,…” The jokes were not funny, but the crowd was entertained nonetheless.  Lounsbury then introduced the SCCCMH officers, Sue Getsch, Vice Chairperson; Collette Fox, Treasurer; and Amanda Blodgett, Secretary; and the rest of the board members Christine Heckemy, Lorraine Gardephe, Jim Ash, Ann Diller and Amber Christian Osterhout (who announced she expecting to the delight of the audience).
Senator McDonald and his lovely wife Angela arrived just in time for dinner.  Angela said that Roy had already been to four other events that day, but he wanted to be at this dinner.  Before the presentation of the award, Rabbi Jonathan Rubenstein, Pastoral Care Director at Four Winds Hospital – Saratoga, spoke of McDonald’s commitment to people with disabilities, especially people living with mental illness.  He recognized the personal sacrifice that Senator McDonald makes as an elected official and then said a blessing for Senator McDonald.  Lounsbury then presented the Citizen of the Year award to McDonald saying that his efforts in the NYS Legislature are making a difference in the lives of people living with mental illness.  In accepting the award, Senator McDonald spoke about how having grandchildren with autism changed his life, how this has forever changed his priorities and now guides his efforts in the legislature.  Everyone was moved by McDonald’s sentiments.
Lounsbury then introduced representatives of the organizations that benefited from about $4,000 of SCCCMH grants and donations that were distributed in 2011–2012:  Maggie Fronk of Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services, Christina Saccoia of Saratoga Bridges, and Sheelah Shortell of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Capital Region Chapter.  Each explained how their organizations used grant money to improve or expand their services over the past year.
Chirs Jaskikoff, last year’s Citizen of the Year, encouraged those in attendance to join her on May 19th in Spa Park for the annual Mental Health Awareness Walk.
In the crowd were psychiatric nurse practitioners, Patricia Ford and Kimberly L’Heureux who recently opened Saratoga Behavioral Health in Saratoga.  Also spotted were Sheelagh Baily (Sheelagh is a founding member of the SCCCMH), Betsy Gibbs, Caroline Russell Smith (of One Roof), Peter Lacy, and Bob Lounsbury (Peggy’s husband).  The evening ended after the silent auction winners were announced.
The Saratoga County Citizens Committee for Mental Health (SCCCMH) is a non-profit, charitable organization that distributes grant money to agencies and programs in Saratoga County so they can enrich existing programs or expand services for people living with mental illness.  The SCCCMH also provides affordable educational opportunities for professionals and consumers, advocates for improved mental health care and services; and is committed to increasing public awareness of the needs of people with mental illness.  For more information about the SCCCMH, go to or contact Peggy Lounsbury, Chairperson, at 518-583-8371. 

Senator Roy McDonald accepts the 2012 Citizen of the Year Award from Peggy Lounsbury, Chairperson, SCCCMH



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