The ocean-themed event started with remarks from Vinfen Director of Service Jon Murphy. “We’re here to have fun and get the dance floor moving,” Jon exclaimed. He also reflected on the past year as a year of change at Vinfen. With implementation of ACCS, Vinfen has been able to increase housing support, add additional Peer Specialists and Licensed Practitioners of the Healing Arts to support teams, and create new positions for Family Connectors and Community Connectors.
Next a person Vinfen serves bravely shared his story about recovery. Al first welcomed all his peers with a round of applause. “Just because a person has mental illness does not mean they can’t still purse their hopes and dreams,” encouraged Al. He then talked about the importance of getting involved with one’s community, especially the Vinfen community. “There was always one person there that made me not give up,” Al explained, giving a shout out to Vinfen Director of Recovery Services Adam Whitney. “It’s a victory for a lot of people just to be able to be here, because some people can’t,” Al shared. He then asked the audience to keep the hope in their own journeys with mental health and wellness.
Vinny, another person Vinfen serves, sat at a table with familiar faces from his past. “I like seeing people that I know from the past, old friends, a lot of people I have lived with, people I know from the Clubhouse. It’s good to see old faces,” Vinny explained. He tries to go to the Spring Fling celebration every year.
After a delicious dinner, attendees were treated to a talented Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator, as they played games and then danced the night away to upbeat songs from the decades, played by DJ Denise. Upon leaving, each attendee took home a gift bag of under the sea themed items, including sailor and pirate hats.
“The annual Spring Fling event is such a highlight for both people we serve and staff alike. It’s a night with only one thing on the agenda: fun,” exclaimed Vinfen’s Assistant Program Director and Operations Administrator Elizabeth Egan.