Vinfen’s Cambridge/Somerville program hosted their 7th Annual Community Celebration on November 10 with a Mardi Gras themed party at Arts at the Armory in Somerville, MA. Dozens of friends, family, staff, and persons served spent the evening celebrating one another with a New Orleans-style dinner, dancing, and entertainment.
Richard Sheingold, a person served by Vinfen, acted as the Master of Ceremonies with Vinfen Vice President of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Tim Wing welcoming guests. Tim also presented the Community Award to the Food for Free, an organization that collects fresh food, that would otherwise go to waste, and distributes it to those locally in need. The night included live music provided by members of Tune Foolery, a nonprofit that features musicians in recovery.
Attendees were treated to personal testimonials, poetry, comedy, and singing all by persons served. This included Viesia Novesielki who recited her poem about her quest to find housing. During her long process of trying to obtain an affordable place to live, Viesia turned to writing poetry. Viesia and her mother also requested Vinfen services to help with Viesia housing issues. Vinfen supported Viesia by searching for other housing options and following up on contacts. Viesia’s hard work had paid off and she finally received housing last year.
After a delicious meal of jambalaya, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and desert, entertainment was provided by the Cambridge/Somerville Recovery Learning Center (CSRLC) dance group, Bad Dance. The troupe showcased their individual dance moves. All guests were then invited to dance the night away with music provided DJ Tommy.
A special thanks to the people served by programs in the Cambridge/Somerville area, their families, staff from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, and Forklift Catering. In addition a thanks to Vinfen staff members who were floor managers, platters and servers, to individuals who helped with set up and cleanup and provided transportation, and those who were on Decoration and Banquet Committees. Lastly, a thanks goes to all those who devoted their time and energy to the success of this wonderful event.