Each year, Vinfen honors families, advocates, self-advocates, and staff who have made a difference in the lives of the people we serve at the Vinfen Celebration of Family Partnerships. At Vinfen, we transform lives together and families and other caregivers are an integral part of this transformation.
Vinfen was thrilled to have Master of Ceremonies, Karen Anderson, award-winning journalist from WCVB, Department of Mental Health Commissioner Marcia Fowler, and Department of Developmental Services Commissioner Elin Howe welcome attendees on October 15. Honored guests of the 7th Annual celebration included Massachusetts State Representative Kay Khan, winner of the Public Official of the Year award; Anne Fracht, winner of the Craig Smith Self-Advocate award; and Miriam Alcantara, winners of the Helen Fantasia-Arraj Staff Recognition award.
The keynote address was given by the Educator of the Year award winner Loretta Claiborne. Loretta is a world-class athlete who competes in the Special Olympics, an advocate for people with disabilities, and an international motivational speaker. She shared her inspiring story about how her family, community, educators, and her own strong spirituality gave her the confidence to overcome prejudice and become an accomplished athlete and role model.
Over 50 staff were also given Merit Certificates for their commitment to family partnerships, advocacy, education, and leadership. Staff were chosen based on the nominations from the families that they work closely with. The evening would not have been possible without the Vinfen Family Advisory Councils and our incredible sponsors. Thank you to the Rae and Aaron Alberts Foundation, HUB International, Nizhoni Health Systems, and the Tiffany Ballroom at the Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood.
To view our event slideshow, please click on any of the thumbnails below.