Read Our January Newsletter Online!

Gándara Center’s January newsletter is online! Read about our 5th Annual Frozen Yogurt 5K, which will take place on Sunday, August 25; noteworthy work anniversaries of employees at our agency, and our search for sponsors for our Aventura! Summer Camp Scholarship.

View photos from Gándara Center Family Night at the Springfield Thunderbirds. More than 140 employees and their families attended this exciting hockey game. Also in this newsletter: Gándara Center Director of Training Mark Huntington’s De-escalation and crisis management training session for staff on January 4.

Read the newsletter at https://mailchi.mp/gandaracenter/jan2019newsletter.

By |January 15th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Read Our January Newsletter Online!

Employees and Families Enjoy 6-2 Home Hockey Victory at Gándara Center Family Night at the Springfield Thunderbirds

More than 140 employees and family members flocked to the MassMutual Center on January 11 to watch their hometown hockey team defeat the Hershey Bears, 6-2, at Gándara Center Family Night at the Springfield Thunderbirds.

Congratulations to Rosa Ramos (pictured below), care coordinator at Gándara Center CSA/CBHI, who was recognized on the HD scoreboard and the PA system with a Game Changer Award for nine years of dedicated service.

A large group from our agency assembled on the ice after the game for a group photo with Boomer, the Thunderbirds mascot. Our marketing and communications team also had a Gándara Center information table in the concourse area.

It was a hard-hitting, high-scoring affair, with Hershey striking first just 3:30 into the game. Then the T-Birds netted the next five goals!

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Rosa Ramos (above), recipient of the Game Changer award

chris

child

thumbs up

reaction

By |January 14th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Employees and Families Enjoy 6-2 Home Hockey Victory at Gándara Center Family Night at the Springfield Thunderbirds

Gándara in the Media: Sara Moriarty, Director of the Hampden County Tobacco Free Community Partnership

Gándara Center is the host agency of the Hampden County Tobacco Free Community Partnership (TFCP), which supports smoke-free efforts of Springfield and surrounding communities in the home, school, and workplace.

On January 8, TFCP Director Sara Moriarty was on the WGBY Public Television show Connecting Point explaining why smoking cessation instruments such as vape pens and especially the JUUL device pose a risk to teens and tweens. “When e-cigarettes first hit the market, they were used as a way to curb nicotine addiction,” said Moriarty. “But when youth starting using them, we found that a whole new generation was getting addicted to these products.”

One of the problems with vaping, aside from the fact that it’s widespread among young people, is that the practice is fairly undetectable because the devices don’t emit the odors that are traditionally associated with smoking. Also, a JUUL is amazingly discreet—it looks just like a flash drive. Moriarty said there have been reports of students in the back of the classroom quickly and secretly JUULing “when the teacher turns around and writes on the chalkboard,” she said. Vaping and JUULing also affects immature brains and makes it easier for teens to later become addicted to other drugs.

On January 18, Moriarty will be one of the featured presenters at a Vaping Prevention Mini-Conference at West Springfield High School.

View the entire Connecting Point segment.

The Hampden County Tobacco Free Community Partnership

The TFCP helps to increase public knowledge of smoking as the leading preventable cause of death in Massachusetts; maintain MassHealth utilization rates in smoking cessation efforts; works to eliminate the sale of over-the-counter tobacco to youth; promotes the Ex-Smokers Hall of Fame project; and supports smoke-free housing efforts in Springfield and surrounding areas.

The TFCP also provides smoking related materials and education to professional health care providers about the negative effects of secondhand smoke and fosters relationships with the community and other human service agencies to ensure support for those who wish to live smoke-free lives.

By |January 9th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Gándara in the Media: Sara Moriarty, Director of the Hampden County Tobacco Free Community Partnership

Save the Date: Our 5th Annual Frozen Yogurt 5K is on August 25

Have you made a New Year’s resolution to get in better shape? There is no better way to burn calories and get cardio exercise than training for a 5K! Our 5th Annual Frozen Yogurt 5K is on Sunday, August 25 at 9:00 a.m. in downtown Northampton.

Register today! Kids 12 and under run for free, and all runners—and walkers—get a free GoBerry Frozen Yogurt. Sign up by August 14 and you’ll be receive a free t-shirt.

We run to raise awareness of mental health and addiction disorders and to put an end to the stigma surrounding these often misunderstood illnesses that affect so many of our friends and families.

Leashed pets are also welcome to run for free! Organic, hand-made treats from 1 Little Black Dog will available for purchase with proceeds benefiting our cause.

Registration on race day will be available beginning at 8:00 a.m. Credit and debit cards will be accepted. The staging area is on the Courthouse Lawn across from the Calvin Theater. For GPS purposes please use 19 King Street Northampton, MA.

Our 5K is officially timed by RaceWire. Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each of the following categories: Male, Female, 12 and under and 50 and over.

For any questions regarding the event—or for those interested in having their business sponsor this year’s race­—please contact Lisa Brecher at 413-296-5256 or lbrecher@gandaracenter.org.

Register online. Read about last year’s race.

Frozen Yogurt 5K Route:

2018 route map

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finish-line

By |January 9th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Save the Date: Our 5th Annual Frozen Yogurt 5K is on August 25

El Sitio Web de Gándara en Español—Gándara Website in Spanish

Don’t forget that you can access the Gándara Center website in Spanish at es.gandaracenter.org. This version of our website links to the agency’s available resources in Spanish to enable a wider range of people to learn about our programs and services.

Because effective communication is key to serving all our clients, whether they speak English or Spanish—or are bilingual—our online information is easily available and accessible to meet their needs.

website in spanish

By |January 3rd, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on El Sitio Web de Gándara en Español—Gándara Website in Spanish

Read Our December Newsletter Online!

Check out Gándara Center’s December Newsletter online. You can read about our successful #ValleyGivingTuesday efforts; end-of-year giving opportunities to our Aventura! Summer Camp Scholarship; and our Executive Director Henry East-Trou’s retirement in May of 2019. Pictured above are some of our Aventura! campers at Camp STAR Angelina in Springfield’s Forest Park.

Also in the newsletter: photos from our Blood Drive/Job Fair on December 11; the Spanish version of the Gándara Center website; and treatments for seasonal affective disorder.

In addition, our agency sponsored Janiah Rivera in the Miss Bella Hispana Pageant at the MassMutual Center on December 1—and she was crowned Junior Bella Hispana! View photos and video of her crowning.

Read the newsletter at http://mailchi.mp/gandaracenter/december-newsletter-2018.

By |December 17th, 2018|News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Read Our December Newsletter Online!

End-of-Year Giving: Help Us Send Kids and Teens from Low-income Springfield Families to Summer Camp

We want to give our sincerest THANK YOU to everyone who helped support us on #ValleyGivingTuesday! Thanks to your generosity, we were able to raise an additional $895 for our Aventura! Summer Camp Scholarship, which sends Springfield youths from low-income families to summer camp for free.

Now, in this season of giving, there is still an opportunity to make an impact on the lives who need it the most. Help us give these kids an experience they’ll never forget: a session of SUMMER CAMP, where children and teenagers build their self-confidence as they try new activities and make new friends. Where kids can be kids.

Parents who lack child care find it difficult to find affordable, safe opportunities for kids when school isn’t in session. Summer camp is the perfect environment for these youngsters, and it provides parents and caregivers with peace of mind that their child is being socially, emotionally, and physically engaged in a safe setting.

Last year we had 40 scholarship recipients. We want to send even more children to camp this summer!

If you missed out on #ValleyGivingTuesday and haven’t made your end-of-year gift, we hope you will seize this amazing opportunity to give the gift of fun and outdoors for kids who deserve it. Make a tax-deductible donation today!

By |December 17th, 2018|News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on End-of-Year Giving: Help Us Send Kids and Teens from Low-income Springfield Families to Summer Camp

Community Responds to Blood Drive/Job Fair on December 11

Katherine and Conor Bevan (top left), had plenty of motivation to give donate blood at our Blood Drive/Job Fair we held on December 11 in conjunction with the American Red Cross: 20 months ago she needed an emergency blood transfusion while giving birth. “I lost 90 percent of my blood,” she said. “I would have died if there wasn’t enough blood available. This is our way of giving back.”

Abiezer Colon (top right), a Family Partner at Gándara Center, said he donated blood because “it’s the right thing to do. It feels good to help others.”

The Blood Drive was held in response to a critical blood shortage in the U.S. since this past summer because of a rise in demand. Participants were also able to learn about career opportunities at our agency during our Job Fair.

The event included a great showing by Gándara Center employees. Thanks to everyone who headed over to our offices at 80 Commercial Street in Holyoke for this important initiative. We met our goal and collected 19 pints of blood!

By |December 13th, 2018|Events, News, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Community Responds to Blood Drive/Job Fair on December 11

Largest Turnout Ever for Gándara Center Holiday Party

It was a fantastic holiday party on Saturday, December 1 at Chez Josef in Agawam. Some 300 Gándara Center Western Region employees rang in the holiday season with great food and great times. Special thanks to the music group Los Gigantes de la Plena and our DJ Mark Watkins from our SHINE program!

Our Executive Director, Henry East-Trou, who is retiring in May, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his exceptional leadership and dedication to the people we serve (pictured below).

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Congratulations to all the raffle prize winners, the wearers of colorful holiday sweaters (some with bright lights), and those who received certificates of appreciation in recognition of their years of valuable contribution and dedication to the Gándara family:

20 Years
Mary Gustafson
Wanda Tosado

10 Years
Rachel Garfi
Victoria Giard
Jeff McGeary
Kristen Owens

5 Years
Eva Gomez
Katia Gonzalez
Melissa Morrissey
Eliel Negron
Kristine Rodriguez
Ruth Roman
Alexcelin Saldana

View video of the dance floor!

By |December 4th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Largest Turnout Ever for Gándara Center Holiday Party

Gándara Center Executive Director to Retire: Henry East-Trou a Longtime Advocate for the Underserved

Henry East-Trou is stepping down as Executive Director of the Gándara Center after 36 years on the job, 29 of which have been in his current leadership role, shepherding the agency through an era of unprecedented growth. East-Trou joined the center in 1982 as a clinical supervisor for the agency’s psychiatric day treatment program. At the time, the organization had one location in Springfield’s North End neighborhood, its outpatient mental health clinic, and employed approximately 30 staff.

Today, the Gándara Center is home to behavioral health, substance use, prevention and educational services at more than 45 locations throughout the state, employs close to 900 staff, and serves over 12,000 adults, children, and families from the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable populations.

The agency’s mission is to serve diverse populations with its roots planted respectively in the Latino community. “I felt like the Hispanic community really gave me a job to do,” said East-Trou. “My hope has always been to leave this organization better than it was when I began. Although it has been challenging at times, we have always been able to deliver quality services to the people who needed us most.”

His decision to retire has not been an easy one, but “the time has come,” said East-Trou. “I look forward to spending more time with my family and friends and getting to watch my two beautiful granddaughters grow up. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. It has been a true pleasure.”

East-Trou’s departure will take place in May, 2019. The organization is planning an event to be held that month that will be open to the public in honor of his career and commitment to the community. Proceeds raised will benefit the agency’s Aventura! Summer Camp Scholarship program, which provides youth from low-income Springfield families the opportunity to attend city-wide summer camp programs.

The agency will begin the search for its new leadership immediately. An official job posting will be available in early December. Qualified candidates are encouraged to reach out directly to Pam Thornton at the Employers Association of the Northeast at pthornton@eane.org.

By |November 27th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Gándara Center Executive Director to Retire: Henry East-Trou a Longtime Advocate for the Underserved