Clara Martin Center’s 50th annual meeting celebrated the past, present and future of the agency by honoring those who have played a significant role in the achievements of the organization over the last 50 years.
With the meeting falling on the heels of the Presidential election, Executive Director, Linda Chambers assured the crowd that while the future is in a state of change, “we will continue to think about our focus: taking care of people and serving our communities.”
Arnold Spahn, President of the Board of Trustees, was honored for his 40 years of service on the Board. Dennis Brown, Board Vice-President said Spahn has a “clear understanding of the challenges the agency faces every day.” A photographer and former local business owner, Spahn’s community minded attitude make him an invaluable member not only for Clara Martin Center’s board, but for the entire community. To honor Spahn’s work and commitment to his local communities, the agency will sponsor an annual Arny Spahn Community Service Award. A granite bench honoring Spahn will also be placed at Clara Martin Center’s 24 South Main Street site in Randolph for the community to enjoy.
The keynote address was delivered by Caroline Whiddon, Me2/ Orchestra Executive Director and co-founder, which provided a sneak peek into an upcoming event that the agency will host featuring the orchestra. This event will take place at the Chandler Music Hall on January 7, 2017 and will also include an art show and selected readings. The Me2/Orchestra is the only classical music organization in the world for people with mental illnesses and those who support them. Whiddon spoke about starting the orchestra in Burlington, Vermont with her husband/world renowned conductor, Ronald Braunstein. The orchestra aims to encourage dialogue about mental health issues while presenting exhilarating performances.
1st Annual Arny Spahn Community Service Award
Marla Simpson received the very first Arnie Spahn Community Service Award. Simpson has been a strong public advocate to support mental health services in Orange County and the State of Vermont. She is a member of the Board Advisory and Local Standing Committee for Clara Martin Center. Members of this committee are involved in the development of the local system of care plans for the various programs at the agency.
Marla was nominated by the governor to be on the committee for the Vermont Governor Council on Pathway from Poverty. This committee provides input regarding the local issues related to poverty. She strongly advocates and works to educate other committee and community members on the needs of adults who live in poverty and those who have mental health needs.
Marla is also a member of the Vermont Adult Statewide Program Standing committee on mental health. This committee advises the Department of Mental Health on key issues and developments.
Gretchen Pembroke, Director of Adult Service and Primary Care at Clara Martin Center, said Marla is a “bright, compassionate woman who does not shy away from an opportunity to use her voice to help others. Marla has been and will continue to be a passionate advocate for members of the Randolph community and the larger state mental health system.”
Consumer and Family Service Award
Clara Martin Center’s CSP Case Manager, Nancy Duranleau presented Marilyn Bay with the 2016 Consumer and Family Service Award. Bay is a community member at the Randolph House, an apartment complex for the elderly and disabled in Randolph. According to Duranleau, Bay runs many shopping errands in town for the elderly who are home bound. She watches over them, making sure that meals are delivered and that they have enough food. She also will notify other social agencies when she notices elderly neighbors in need.
“I think she is the unsung hero for many of the tenants at the Randolph house.” Duranleau said.
Vocational Service Award
The 2016 Vocational Service Award was presented to Kevin Harty, Director of the White River Craft Center (WRCC) by Clara Martin Center’s Vocational Services Coordinator, Holly Benoir. This establishment offers crafting workshops, meeting spaces, and provides a display and sales venue for area artisans. Beyond those functions, Harty, has welcomed volunteer groups from Clara Martin Center’s Pre-Employment Transition Services program and has provided work experiences for clients in recent years.
Benoir said “Harty and the Craft Center offer a nurturing, safe environment for numerous individuals who might otherwise ‘slip through the cracks’, even providing housing for some in exchange for services such as building maintenance.” Susan Rockwell, a weaving instructor, accepted the award on behalf of the WRCC adding that the partnership between the two organizations works because “working with your hands soothes the mind.”
Dr. Brewster Martin Award
Adam Bindrum received the prestigious, staff-nominated Dr. Brewster Martin Award. Bindrum is a Restorative Justice Clinician at Clara Martin Center and leads the Adventure Programming in the Transition Age Youth program, supervises interns and crosses program lines by seeing adult clients as well as transition age youth. According to his peers, Adam translates his skill across multiple settings in the office and community settings, develops a strong trust with clients creating an environment for them to recover, and has great relationships with the agency’s community partners.
This award is dedicated in the name of a caring country doctor whose support of the Clara Martin Center, and more importantly, the citizens of the greater Orange County area, was strong and will always be remembered. Dr. Martin served on the agency’s Board of Directors since the passing of his wife Clara Martin. He believed in the mind-body connection to physical and spiritual health and lived this philosophy in his practice as a physician and in his support to the agency.