More than 250 supporters of WellLife Network turned out at the one-night only benefit reading of Trial, a new play by Ashley Griffin (Snow, Twilight the Unauthorized Musical Parody) and directed by Lori Petty(Orange is the New Black, A League of Their Own). The play was presented at the Tilles Center on Thursday, March 28, 2019. This performance recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month, held in April, to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate families and communities on how to prevent this violence.

 

Trial tells the unique and provocative story of a young woman waiting for her own judgment in the bureaucratic system of the afterlife, where she finds herself in the role of judge and jury to determine the eternal fate of her father, the man responsible for her abuse and death. The play is inspired by a true story. Proceeds from the production will assist WellLife Network to improve and expand its services across Long Island. The contributions will provide urgently needed services that help Long Islanders to heal and recover.

 

Sexual Trauma Affects the Entire Family

“The issue of family violence affects the entire family,” said Rebecca Costa, Vice President, Long Island Operations. “Our person-centered treatment services serve not only the survivor of sexual trauma but the entire family on their path to recovery and wellness.” Suicide is an all too common result of sexual trauma. WellLife Network has developed workshops and training seminars on suicide prevention that address these issues which are designed for community stakeholders, clinical/non-clinical staff, educators, families and other concerned citizens.

 

Abusive Behavior Should Never Be Normalized or Supported

Deborah Boatright, a benefit co-chair and board member of WellLife Network, said, “We are thrilled and very honored to have a large portion of the original cast perform this benefit-staged reading for us.” Ashley Griffin’s uplifting play movingly explores the issue of justice vs. mercy and the question: ‘What would a victim decide if they could determine their abuser's eternal fate?’ This ensemble makes a strong statement – with a united voice and as a community.

 

Boatright reminded us of the shocking statistics - 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually traumatized by the time they are 18. She fervently admonished the audience, “We must be vigilant so that abusive behavior is NEVER normalized or supported. Your being here tonight, your willingness to listen and learn, to ponder and cry and confront the realities of children’s lives through the honesty and rawness that is Trial is a great step.”

 


Back Row (L-R) Deborah Boatright, Board Member, WellLife Network and Event Co-Chair; Jeffrey Finkle, Board Chairperson; Steve Hauck (Mr. Olin); Malcolm Stephenson (Richard) and Sherry Tucker, CEO, WellLife Network. Middle Row (L-R) Lori Petty, Director of Trial; Jennifer Regan (Lucy); Vinyetta James (Voice) and Jeté Laurence (Young Arcadia). Front Row (L-R) Ryan Clardy (Valentine); Ashley Griffin (Arcadia) author of Trial and Shereen Hickman (Woman/Margaret). Photo by Micah Joel Productions ©

Thank You to the Outstanding Cast Members

Sherry Tucker, CEO WellLife Network presented Ashley Griffin and Lori Petty with WellLife's Community Outreach and Partnership Award. It read: "Your profound play heightens awareness of childhood sexual trauma in the community, helps to restore lives and gives a voice to those who need to confront their 'doors locked from the inside'." Lori Petty's award read: "Under your genius direction, the play Trial, a profound and significant message regarding sexual trauma, has been given a voice to new audiences throughout our community."

 

We thank the cast members who generously gave of their time and talents. Cast members of Trial include: Ryan Clardy* (One Life to Live,) Ashley Griffin* (The Greatest Showman, "Hamlet" in Hamlet,) Steve Hauck* (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,) Shereen Hickman* (Woman/ Margaret,) Vinyetta James (Life Is Hard,) Jeté Laurence (Pet Sematary,)Jennifer Regan* (Born Yesterday,) and Malcolm Stephenson* (Time Stands Still). Madeline O’Hara (Blogologues) was the assistant director and Ashling Costello the stage manager. 
*Appear courtesy Actors Equity Association.

 

Thank You to Our Supporters Who Made It Possible

WellLife Network is grateful for the support from the following individuals, corporations and businesses whose contributions have helped this presentation of Trial be a success.

 

Ace Endico
ABT Appliance & Traders
Bartel Construction Corp.
Bay Carpet and Flooring
Alicia & Steve Bernstein
Lani & Tom Blumberg
Deborah Boatright
Con Rac Construction Group LLC
Nathene Riley Cruz
Crystal John
Gallagher
Genoa Healthcare
Imperial Dade
Irwin Contracting
Lamb Insurance Services
Levy, Stopol & Camelo LLP
Dr. Brian Regan
Marvin Sperling
Star2Star Communications
Stat Rx Pharmacy
TGI Office Automation
The Ray-Block Stationery Co., Inc.
Sherry & Dirk Tucker
Van Security Services
Vassalotti Associates Architects, LLP
W.B. Mason
Jean & Alan Weinstock
World’s Fair Pharmacy
 

 

WellLife also wants to recognize the generous contributions of these businesses who donated catering supplies, food, flowers and wine. 

 

Bar-Boy Products
Hither Brook Floral & Gift Boutique
Iavarone Bros Quality Foods
Micah Joel Productions - Photography
Martha Clara Vineyards

 

WellLife Network is one of the region’s largest and most diversified voluntary, not-for-profit health and human services organizations. Our extensive network of services in mental health, developmental disabilities, family and youth, addiction recovery and residential services assists more than 25,000 individuals and families each year. WellLife Network programs are licensed and approved for service by numerous governmental organizations and on Long Island work in partnership with the United Way.  

 

If you would like to make a donation to individuals and families affected by sexual trauma, please click here

 

Susana Hall is a vibrant and friendly woman who resides at one of WellLife Network’s 36 residences for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Susana is of Panamanian ancestry and speaks fluently in both English and Spanish. At the residence, Susana is a “Domestic Diva” and loves to help the staff with preparing meals for her housemates. She proudly incorporates her Panamanian ancestry in many of the dishes she prepares. “I love living here,” said Susana, the staff teaches me new things all the time, like how to clean my room and cook new dishes”.  

 

Susana and her housemates have lived together since the residence opened in 2007. She considers them to be an extended family and is looked upon as a “big sister”. Susana’s work day consists of cooking with her “sisters” and volunteering at a nursing home in the community. Her French Toast is considered “the best” in Queens, New York. 

 

Susana greets any visitor to the residence with a warm smile and a big “Hello” and loves showing visitors her bedroom where she very proudly displays mementos from her many trips with her family and housemates. Susana is fortunate to have a very close bond with her large extended family and enjoys traveling on family vacations. 

 

In the future, Susana would like to create a cookbook with all of her favorite recipes to share with family, friends and the community.

 

To WellLife Network and the staff who assist her, that is what makes Susana One of a Kind.

 

 

"Working at WellLife Network all these years is like being part of a family. We respect each other's talents, skills and ability, as a team, to make a difference in the lives
of the people we serve." - 
Durpatee Roopnarine, Program Director

 

WellLife Network honored 28 loyal employees who have worked for the agency 15, 20, 25 and 30 years at its Annual Staff Longevity Luncheon, organized by the HR Department on February 22, 2018. Collectively, the staff brings more than 535 years of program and support services – ranging from residential, day habilitation to case management, pre-vocational training, infrastructure services and more.

 

Our Honorees are an Inspiration

 

Ann Marie Barbarotta, COO thanked each of the staff members for their loyalty and faithfulness to WellLife Network. “Thank you for your loyalty and years of dedicated effort to our mission," said Barbarotta. "What you each do is significant and that is the definition of success. You are an inspiration to me and the entire WellLife Network Staff.”

 

Honorees were given a Certificate of Appreciation, an honorarium and for those serving 30 years a beautiful crystal clock. Honorees spoke of their journey at WellLife Network and how their efforts made a steadfast impact on the lives of thousands of individuals we serve each day.

 

Improving Lives was Linda's Dream 

 

Linda Iannatto, Utilization Review Coordinator, a 20-year veteran, noted that working for WellLife Network all of these years is like working with family. “I gave up a career in business to be able to help people," stated Linda. Money did not matter to Linda, nor a bigger paycheck. She went back to school to earn a Masters in Rehabilitation and realized her dream of helping individuals in need. At WellLife Network, Linda works in the Quality Assurance Department.

 

Join us in congratulating the following staff who each day empower individuals to lead more independent lives. Their talents and skills strengthen our outreach to the communities we serve and demonstrate that, as an agency, we truly embrace our mission of helping individuals realize their full potential by achieving meaningful life goals.

 

Our Honorees

 

30 Years

Gloria Jordan-Best
Naushad Hussain
Rene Sievers

 

25 Years

Michelle Gilchrist
Abdul Khuwaja
Pamela Mahlke
Neil Persaud
Marie Singh

 

20 Years

Derrick Carr
Sandra Dottin
Craig Edwards
Linda Iannitto
Lisa Micelli
Grace Olmo
Durpatee Roopnarine
Vanessa Webster

 

15 Years

Shawn Ackerman
Janine Colasuonno
Claudia Dounelis
Raffie Farray
Cleyvis Maldonado
Amanda Marrast
Patrick Nichols
Christina Obeng
Jeannine Rizzo
Sugandaye Ramdass
Laura Southard
Carol Write

 

Few things are more sad than to know that an innocent child has been victimized by sexual violence. At age ten, Felix lost his innocence when a family member molested him at a birthday party. Felix is now a sad statistic of one in seven boys, under the age of 18, who have experienced sexual abuse. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that in 2017 there have been more than 200,000 reported cases of childhood abuse and molestation in New York State. Thousands more go unreported.  

 

One in five children in your community has been sexually traumatized. We also know that the effects of this experience are long-lasting. Many children who are abused turn to drugs, alcohol or even attempt suicide when they reach their teens.

 

Each year, WellLife Network helps young boys and girls – like Felix – to heal, recover and become survivors. As a WellLife Network supporter, you can help children and their families overcome their fears and horrific memories.

 

Join Us for a Benefit Performance of TRIAL

 

This March, we are sponsoring the highly acclaimed play called TRIAL, written by Ashley Griffin (The Greatest Showman"Hamlet" in Hamlet) and directed by Lori Petty (Orange Is the New Black, Gotham). Trial will be performed on Thursday, March 28, 2019, 7:00 PM at the Tilles Center in Brookville, Long Island. Both Ashley and Lori are dedicated to educating the public about childhood sexual trauma. WellLife Network is proud and fortunate to partner with these and other outstanding performers in getting this vital message out to the community.

 

Your support helps WellLife Network to improve and expand its services across Long Island. The contribution you generously offer provides urgently needed services that help Long Islanders to heal and recover.

 

Here's How You Can Help

 

Help us with a tax-deductible donation:

 

  • $175 - 1 Ticket to the play offers you orchestra views and VIP status to an exclusive wine and dine cocktail "Talk-Back" session.
  • $1,000 - become an "Advocate" and receive 2 Tickets and VIP status where you can meet the actors of TRIAL and have photo opportunities with the actors.
  • $2,500 - become a "Champion" and receive 4 Tickets, all of the benefits from the above levels, plus a box of 8 beautiful note cards inspired by program participant art.

 

  • $5,000 - become a "Crusader" and receive all of the benefits above plus special podium and journal recognition and your name permanently inscribed on our Tree of Life leaves at our Huntington facility.

 

Your gift today makes a big difference tomorrow and every day!

 

Donate or buy tickets by clicking here today! 

“Thank you for remembering my children. Bless your kindness.”

- Ben R., Care Coordination Participant

 

Empty boxes decorated with gift wrapping paper and a familiar flyer announced the 2018 WellLife Network Care Coordination Toys for Tots Drive. Each day, generous staff contributed toys to help realize our goal of collecting toys for the children of the individuals we serve. This year, Anne Marie Kanable, Executive Assistant, obtained more than 160 toys and books from her friends and family.

WellLife Mobile Van Used to Deliver Gifts

A team of dedicated staff volunteers lovingly wrapped the donations. The toys and books were then distributed to clients in our Care Coordination program, schools and a family shelter in the poorest and highest crime areas in the city. For the first time, the WellLife Network Care Coordination van, driven by Huson Dobson, was used as the gift distribution center. Community members also received information about WellLife Network and services which could be beneficial to them.

The result of this wonderful holiday project is reflected in the smiles on the faces of children who will now have a gift to open on Christmas day, and a toy to preserve the innocence of their early years. We are proud to continue this holiday tradition and thank our staff who participated.


Ben and his daughter enjoy a special holiday surprise, delivered right to their neighborhood, by the WellLife Care Coordination mobile van.

Our Compassionate Value-Based Services Improve Outcomes

WellLife Network is a recognized leader in offering a broad range of personalized behavioral health day, residential and care coordination services to families and individuals coping with the many challenges brought on by emotional problems, substance abuse and mental illness. We also assist individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities achieve greater independence in the community through residential, day habilitation, advocacy, entitlement and family support services.

Some 2,500 individuals and families are assisted, each day, through our person-centered programs, helping them to achieve their fullest potential in an environment that values respect, dignity, caring and integrity.

Please support the people who need our vital services to flourish and thrive. Your special year-end, tax-deductible gift of $25 or $50 – more if you can – does change lives. 

Click here to donate. 

On behalf of all the children, adults and families in our community who supporters like you help each day, thank you and the best of holidays!

“I am blessed to be here and on the road to recovery. Occasions like this one make me feel part of life again.” Vera T.- Behavioral Health Resident

As the holidays approach, the excitement that comes from celebrating this season’s “peace on earth and goodwill to all” serves as a guidepost to WellLife Network staff and participants alike. This was evident as some 800 individuals of our residential and day programs for individuals with intellectual, developmental, mental health and other disabilities gathered at Da Mikele Illagio in Queens for two enchanting evenings of dancing, dining and the joy of celebrating the holiday season and their accomplishments for the year.


Residents of one of our Queens homes enjoying a star-filled evening with Ana, their WellLife chaperone.

“I am so grateful to our compassionate and passionate staff. Their values of caring and concern, as evidenced by the outpouring of dedication and love I have witnessed tonight, have a profound impact on our participants’ quality of life and outcomes,” said Ann Marie Barbarotta, Chief Operating Officer, WellLife Network.

The evenings were celebrated with dancing, an array of healthy and beautifully prepared food and non-stop music, expertly DJ’d by our very own “DJ Suave” Glenn Martin (from our Training Department), making these two very memorable nights.


Party guests, decked out in their finest array, wore a big smile as they sang, danced and dined.

“The enthusiasm here captures the spirit of this holiday event,” noted Nadia Hrvatin, Director, Developmental Disabilities Services who helped to organize the event with Anne-Marie Kanable. At the Behavioral Health Celebration, Crystal John, Vice President, Behavioral Health Residential Services remarked, “This is the time of year when people join together to rejoice in their progress, rekindle friendships and look to the New Year for inspiration and hope for a brighter future.”


Reuel Saney, who receives community habilitation services from WellLife specialists at his home, enjoys an evening respite with his mother, Donna, at our holiday party. 

Mike and Errol, Suffolk Apartment Program residents (pictured below), both praised the event, "WellLife Network has given us new opportunities for the New Year,"said Mike. "Awesome gift!”        


Mike and Errol, who live in our Suffolk County residences, are planning new goals for the coming year.

Our Compassionate Value-Based Services Improve Outcomes

WellLife Network is a recognized leader in offering a broad range of personalized behavioral health day, residential and care coordination services to families and individuals coping with the many challenges brought on by emotional problems, substance abuse and mental illness. We also assist individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities achieve greater independence in the community through residential, day habilitation, advocacy, entitlement and family support services.

Some 2,500 individuals and families are assisted, each day, through our person-centered programs, helping them to achieve their fullest potential in an environment that values respect, dignity, caring and integrity.

Please support the people who need our vital services to flourish and thrive. Your special year-end, tax-deductible gift of $25 or $50 – more if you can – does change lives.  You can done online by clicking here

On behalf of all the children, adults and families in our community who supporters like you help each day, thank you and the best of holidays!

 

Today is #GivingTuesday. This annual initiative has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving to charities. We're asking you to support WellLife Network and the people who depend upon us with a donation of $10 each month - that's just 32¢ each day!

It's the cost of less than one cup of coffee per day. That donation will help people like Susana, who lives in one of our residences for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities, thrive in the community. She is an extended member of the WellLife Network family. At her residence, Susana is the domestic diva and loves to help the staff with preparing meals for her housemates. It is her contribution to the "community of sisters" that she calls home.

WellLife Network provides vital services, each year, to 25,000 individuals coping with chronic mental illness, substance abuse/addiction, homelessness, the challenges of caring for special-needs family members and more.

We ask you to join us. Please support the people, such as Susana, who need our vital services to flourish and thrive.

Your donation of $10 or $20 each month – more if you can – does change lives.  

On behalf of all the children, adults and families in our community who supporters like you help each day, thank you and the best of holidays. 

Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today!

WellLife Network Launches Veterans Micro Site 

On Veterans Day, WellLife Network launched its Veteran’s micro site. This site, located at: https://www.welllifenetwork.org/veteransrecognizes and honors the men and women who have so bravely and selflessly served our country. As a focused, innovative health and human services organization, WellLife Network is committed to assisting veterans re-establish themselves as productive and leading members of our communities.

WellLife Network dedicates itself to both the economic and housing independence of veterans and their family members in the community with the following services:

Please take a moment to explore this site and its resources.


WellLife Network Veteran employees were honored at a breakfast recently recognizing their valor, integrity and pride. (Front row, center left) Lt. Commander Melinda M. Staton gave a riveting keynote address. Rosemary Nuccio, Consultant for Veteran Affairs, emceed the event. 

WellLife Network Honors Its Employee Veterans

WellLife Network recognizes the value and skills that veterans bring to an organization – loyalty, expertise, leadership, dedication and comradery. We actively hire individuals who have served proudly in our military and recently honored our Veteran employees on November 7, at a breakfast at the Executive Offices. Each veteran received a medal of“Valor, Integrity and Pride” for their service to our country and loyalty to WellLife Network.

Lt. Commander Melinda M. Staton offered a riveting keynote address during which she reflected back on her service as a young, black female commissioned officer in the United States Navy. Her duty was fraught with biases and injustices as she related her personal story of making tough choices to stand or remain with the status quo.

Her travels around the world introduced her to other cultures and social mores different from those she was accustomed to in the United States. It gave her a broader perspective of the values that were dear to her upbringing. She chose to stand up to injustices of sexism and racism when she experienced them and reminded us that she chose to serve in the armed forces so that United States citizens could experience freedom and justice for all.  

Gold Star Mother Award Given to Simona Francis

A special Gold Star Mother Award was presented to Simona Francis, Recruitment Coordinator, in memory of her beloved son LeRon Wilson. Private First Class Le Ron Wilson, 18, was tragically killed as he patrolled an area south of Baghdad, Iraq.

In his comments, Willie Scott, Vice President, Public Affairs stated that “Simona was strong and resolute during this period. She is a “special woman” who helped others cope with the horrific news. We all shared her sorrow.”   

 


(L-R) Simona Francis receives special Gold Star Mother Award from Lori Alameda, CFO, WellLife Network.

Anika Bascom Honored

WellLife Network also honored Anika Bascom, RN, the wife of Gregory Bascom, who is now serving in the United States Air Force. Gregory is deployed in Afghanistan. In presenting a beautiful bouquet to Ms. Bascom, Leonard White, Director of Nursing stated that we all pray that Gregory and the others in his unit remain safe and secure. “All of us at WellLife Network would like to thank you, Anika, for the sacrifice and that you and your family are making to keep us all safe,” said Mr. White.

 


Anika Bascom, RN receives a beautiful bouquet from Leonard White, RN, Director of Nursing recognizing Ms. Bascom and her husband Gregory who is currently serving in Afghanistan.

A Special Farewell to Rosemary Nuccio

Rosemary Nuccio, Consultant for Veteran Affairs, who will be leaving WellLife Network, was recognized and lauded for outstanding service in creating the Operation VETS program. Alan M. Weinstock, retired CEO of WellLife, told of Ms. Nuccio’s passion and compassion for veterans when she began the program some seven years ago. Ms. Nuccio, over the years, developed informative and educational seminars, created fundraising initiatives for families in need and most recently directed and planned the development of the Operation VETS microsite on the WellLife Network website. We wish her well and are proud to carry on her valuable work.

 



Alan M. Weinstock, former CEO, WellLife Network presents service award to Rosemary Nuccio, Consultant for Veteran Affairs. 

Weinstock noted that the Operation VETS program, which Ms. Nuccio established, promotes the confidence of veterans and offers a grassroots response that ensures veterans who face economic hardship, are embraced by a strong, vibrant, and caring community.

To learn more about Veteran's services at WellLife Network, log on to www.WellLifeNetwork.org/Veterans.

Ready, Get Set, Go for Wellness

"Supporting a trustworthy charity such as WellLife Network helps to enhance our reach adn raise awareness and funds for a worthy cause and the community at large."

- John Pfenning, Area Vice President, Business Development, Gallagher

WellLife Network joined forces with the New York Islanders and a dynamic mix of key community advocates on November 4, 2018 to raise awareness and funds for New Yorkers faced with developmental disabilities, mental health and addiction challenges. New York Islanders' Sparky the Dragon led the charge as more than 300 runners gathered at Eisenhower Park in Westbury, New York for the second annual WellLife Network 5K Run/Walk. The Run culminated a six month agency-wide wellness campaign to improve overall staff fitness through regular exercise and adopting a healthier diet. 

Friends and Family Raise Over $25,000

Together, more than 40 staff, friends and family members raised more than $25,000 for WellLife Network's essential programs. Some of those programs offer counseling and referral services to survivors of domestic violence on Long Island and provide community education and prevention programs for children and adults coping with addiction recovery issues. 

WellLife Network would like to recognize the key corporate partners and private advocates who made the 5K Run/Walk such an outstanding success. A very special thank you to: ABT Appliance Brokers & Traders; All Biz, Inc.; Thomas A. Blumberg; Economy Fuel Oil, Inc.; Four Seasons Enterprises, Inc.; Gallagher; Gannon Electrical Corp.; Surujdai Gopaul and Rohan Mohan; HSBC Charitable Foundation; Imperial Dade; Bense J. Kopgram; Moveco Moving Services; Netsmart; Premier Supplies; The Ray-Bloch Stationery Co., Inc.; SavMor; Marvin Sperling; Sterling Sanitary Supply, Corp.; Tonerprice.com; Tristate Apartment Furnishers; Sherry and Dirk Tucker; Urban Architectural Initiatives, RA, PC; and VitaCare Long Term Care Pharmacy. WellLife Network would also like to recognize the generosity and support of the New York Islanders for sending their mascot, Sparky the Dragon to entertain the runners. 

Staff and Board Make a Difference

WellLife Network presented some exciting prizes to our board and staff. Award-winning participants included: our amazing WellLife Network board member Steve Bernstein–for securing the largest donation and runner up for most money raised; Elizabeth Matthews, Vice President, Administration–for raising the most revenue and recruiting the most donors; and Jianwei Chen, Controller–for recruiting the largest running team.

We also want to thank our staff who created running teams to help our fundraising efforts. Team included, The Islanders, led by Natashia Crump; The Closers, organized by Jianwei Chen and Care Management Long Island led by Florence Engoran. We also recognize our dedicated top individual fundraising participants: Dane Kanable (Ann Marie and Jason Kanable); Nadia Hrvatin; Lori Alameda; Aldkida Jones-Philbert and Diana Salcedo-Leon. 

The race was organized by Generosity Series, an industry leading fundraising and racing platform that champions the causes of nonprofits nationally. 

A Race Dedicated to WellLife Network Families

This year's 5K Race was dedicated to the more than 25,000 families who rely on WellLife Network each year for specialized care. The race also served as an overwhelming testament to the New Yorkers committed to care for and empower their community's most vulnerable population, runners participating from New York City and Long Island. 

Click here to view photos from our 2nd Annual 5K Run/Walk. 

 

 

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