64th Annual Dinner and Awards Presentation

Mental Health America of Licking County (MHA) celebrated its 64th Annual Dinner on November 9th, at The DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Newark with MHA’s Board of Trustees, staff, consumers and friends of MHA.

Following an invocation by Deb Dingus, “Celebrity Servers” served beverages.  Among the Celebrity Servers were LMH’s Vice President of Medical Staff Affairs Dr. Craig Cairns, United Way of Licking County Executive Director Deb Dingus, Licking County Family Court Judge Duke Frost, Licking County Foundation Executive Director Connie Hawk, Licking County Coalition of Care Executive Director Larry Palur, and Newark City Schools Director of Certified Personnel Barb Quackenbush.

MHA 1st Vice President Deb Matesich, in President Dave Hardy’s absence, conducted the official business of the meeting. Board members Dan Bybee, Joe Ebel, Deborah Harvey, Mackenzie Peterson and Mareion Royster were reelected for three year terms. Installed as officers for 2017-18 were Deb Matesich as President, Jacquie Goumas Fox as 1st Vice President, Maura Horgan as 2nd Vice President, Cynthia Bowling as Treasurer and Dave Hardy as Immediate Past President.

The Henry Mardis Compeer Member of the Year was presented to Cynthia Gullett by Program Coordinator Donna Lee.  Development/Program Manager Jill Goddard presented the Mental Health Volunteer of the Year Award to Marti Tracey.  Dr. Bill McFarren received the Marion S. Wells Award, and Dr. Mackenzie Peterson received the Mental Health Professional of the Year award, presented by Executive Director Penny Sitler.

Each year, the Paddy Kutz Community Mental Health Award (“The Paddy”) is presented in three categories to those who best represent the qualities and passionate commitment to good mental health that Paddy personified in her 32 years of service to Licking County. Penny Sitler presented The Paddy in Business to Camp O’Bannon, an exceptional local program that fosters the development of self-esteem and leadership skills in children that often translate into future staff members. Executive Director Ted Cobb accepted the award on behalf of the organization. Jim Takacs present the Community category winner to Carie Spicer for her courageous work with families of people living with addiction through Save Our Billy.  In the Education category, Board member Maura Horgan presented the award to Newark City Schools Superintendent Doug Ute for his work in “Starting Conversations” and his commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of the students in the Newark City Schools.

MHA thanks table sponsors Phil and Cynthia Bowling, Gummer Wholesale, Mayor Jeff and Helen Hall, Licking Memorial Health Systems, Med Ben Health Benefits, Jack and Nancy Neely, Newark City Schools, Park National Bank and The Boeing Company for making it possible for consumers to attend the celebration.