This year’s Psychological Center’s Overcoming Obstacles Gala – Unmasking Stigma was held on Friday, October 13, 2017 with a sold-out crowd of more than 250 in attendance.
The event raised more than $50,000, and the beautiful event space and food were generously hosted by Michael Agricola, Salvatore’s Italian Restaurant.
All monies raised are used for treatment and services at Daybreak Shelter, Pegasus House, and Women’s View related to homelessness, addiction, and mental health issues.
The generosity of the sponsors made the evening a great success: supporting sponsor Pentucket Bank, was accompanied by table sponsors: Pfizer, Foster Sullivan Insurance, Celticare Health, Middlesex Healthcare Services, Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union, SPS New England, and the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center.
Speaking to the sold-out crowd, Carina Pappalardo, Chief Executive Officer, expressed “We must all educate the community about the need to come together to end addiction and homelessness — this starts by unmasking stigma. This important fundraiser brings awareness to the current homeless situation and the increasing addiction crisis not only in the state, but in our neighborhoods and homes.”
The goal of the gala is to empower more women to enter and succeed at treatment, support family reunification, and help keep mothers and fathers from the agony of writing obituaries about their children. The night was an invitation — an opportunity to show those who are desperate for help in the community that they are not forgotten. The event highlighted the growing number of homeless individuals in Lawrence, and through the crowd’s generosity, more individuals will receive resources in Daybreak Shelter instead of being desperate on the streets. The work of the Psychological Center and the Gala are steps in the right direction to bring awareness and unmask stigma.
During the Gala three people were honored with awards: Anna Moore was honored for her Recovery; Kevin O’Brien was honored as a Veteran in Recovery; and Donna Rivera was honored as a Community Partner. In attendance were State Representative Diana DiZoglio; Methuen Councilor at Large Jennifer Aziz-Kannan; and many community partner agencies who work together to support The Psychological Center.