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Vinfen Celebration of Family Partnerships

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.

At our 9th Annual Celebration of Family Partnerships, Vinfen welcomed  Master of Ceremonies Susan Wornick, former WCVB-TV anchorwoman to help us honor families, advocates, self-advocates and staff who have made a difference in the lives of the people we serve. Department of Mental Health Commissioner Joan Mikula and Department of Developmental Services Commissioner Elin Howe both greeted attendees. Honored guests at this year’s celebration included Massachusetts State Representative Liz Malia, recipient of the Public Official of the Year award; Marie Saldi, recipient of the Craig Smith Self-Advocate award; and Joel Trinque, recipient of the Helen Fantasia-Arraj Staff Recognition award.

Educator of the Year award winner Michael Plansky was the keynote speaker. He is the Founder and President of You’re With Us!, a non-profit organization that creates opportunities for individuals with disabilities with college clubs, groups, and teams. It was created in response to positive experience Michael’s son Max had with the Northeastern Men’s Basketball Team.

Over 20 staff members received Merit Certificates for their commitment to family partnerships, advocacy, education and leadership. Staff were chosen based on the nominations from the families they work closely with each and every day.  The evening would not have been possible without the Vinfen Family Advisory Council and our incredible sponsors. Thank you to the Rae and Aaron Alberts Foundation, HUB International, and the Tiffany Ballroom at the Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood.

To view our photo slideshow, please click on any of the thumbnails below.