Hairston, Ruderman, Utrevis receive Paddy Kutz Mental Health Award

Kandice Hairston receives The Paddy Kutz Mental Health Award from Kutz, the former executive director of Mental Health America of Licking County.

NEWARK — Kandice Hairston, Dr. David Ruderman and Jennifer Utrevis received The Paddy Kutz Mental Health Award at Mental Health America of Licking County’s 68th annual meeting and awards dinner Nov. 11 at DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Newark.

The Paddy awards are given to those who best represent the qualities and passionate commitment to good mental health that Kutz personified in her 32 years of service to Licking County.

Dr. David Ruderman receives The Paddy Kutz Mental Health Award from MHA Executive Director Penny Sitler.

There were two winners in The Paddy for Community category. Hairston received the award for her dedication to helping guide others through the challenges of recovery by using her lived experience. Ruderman was recognized for being an inspiration to the Day Reporting Program participants who attend his weekly writing workshop, sharing his personal recovery journey.

Utrevis, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters, received The Paddy for Education award for her impact on children through the school-based Lunch Buddies program.

Jennifer Utrevis received The Paddy Kutz Mental Health Award from MHA Executive Director Penny Sitler.

James Haynes received the Henry Mardis Compeer Member of the Year award. The MHA Volunteer of the Year award was given to MHA Board 1st Vice President Brian Haught.

Dr. Elizabeth Yoder received the Physician of the Year award. Outstanding Student Volunteers of the Year awards were given to YES Club members Talaya Allen and Axel Ross.

Brian Haught, MHA Board 1st Vice President,  received the MHA Volunteer of the Year Award from MHA Executive Director Penny Sitler.

Celebrity servers for the event were Deb Dingus, Licking County Common Pleas Court judges David Branstool and Tom Marcelain, Licking County Educational Service Center Superintendent Dale Lewellen, Newark City Schools Director of Certified Personnel Barbara Quackenbush, Behavioral Healthcare Partners CEO Kate St. James and YMCA CEO Adam Shilling.

Board members Chad Brown, Trevor Garber, Jacquie Goumas Fox, Debbie Matesich and Diana Vlachos were re-elected for three-year terms.

Installed as officers for 2021-22 were: Mareion Royster as president, Brian Haught as 1st vice president, Trevor Garber as 2nd vice president, Will McCoy as treasurer and Joe Ebel as immediate past president.

Outstanding Student Volunteers of the Year awards were given to YES Club members Talaya Allen and Axel Ross.

MHA President Joe Ebel was thanked for his year of service as president and Matt Mackenzie was thanked for six years of service on the board, including several as treasurer.

Mental Health America of Licking County, an affiliate of Mental Health America, is a provider agency of Mental Health & Recovery for Licking and Knox Counties and a partner agency of the United Way of Licking County. Visit www.mhalc.org for more information.

Printed in the Newark Advocate on November 19, 2021.

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