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Vinfen Celebration of Family Partnerships

Vinfen honored the incredibly dedicated family members, guardians, advocates, self-advocates, and staff who support the people we serve at the 12th Annual Celebration of Family Partnerships. The event was held on October 2 at the Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood, MA.

Susan Wornick, former WCVB-TV anchorwoman, entertained the audience as Master of Ceremonies. Department of Developmental Services Commissioner Jane Ryder and Department of Mental Health Commissioner Joan Mikula greeted attendees. Honored guests at this year’s celebration included Senator Cindy Friedman, recipient of the Public Official of the Year award; Herman Barringer, recipient of the Craig Smith Self-Advocate award; and Laura Domanico, recipient of the Helen Fantasia-Arraj Staff Recognition award.

Jordan Burnham was the keynote speaker, a nationally recognized speaker and advocate working to end the negative stereotyping associated with experiencing a mental health diagnosis. He is a survivor of a suicide attempt during his senior year in high school and shared his powerful story of fighting depression and anxiety and finding recovery. Jordan has been featured on CNN, CBS, and ESPN.

Over 40 staff members received Merit Certificates for their commitment to family partnerships, advocacy, education, and leadership. They were chosen based on the nominations from the families they work closely with each and every day.

Vinfen’s Family Advisory Council Chair Serena Dee shared, “The Family Partnerships Celebration was again spectacular! We had a great program, and we all got to celebrate and enjoy each other throughout the evening.” She added, “The Family Council would like to invite any interested family members, friends, and supporters of people supported by Vinfen to join our Family Council!”

The evening would not have been possible without the Vinfen Family Advisory Council and our incredible sponsors. Thank you to the HUB International, Rae and Aaron Alberts Foundation, and the Tiffany Ballroom at the Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood.

If you are interested in learning more about Vinfen’s Family Advisory Council, please contact Director of Family and Advocacy Services Mary Beth Vargus at 617-441-1869 or