Compeer party guests honored by mayor's visit

The Compeer Program at Far West Center held our 21st Annual Winter Party on Thursday, Dec. 9, at Bay Lodge. Compeer was honored that Mayor Dennis Clough of Westlake and his wife made it a priority to add our Winter Party to their busy schedule.  

Mayor Clough said he had many events on his schedule but wanted to make sure he came to thank the Compeer volunteers and members. Upon arriving, Mayor Clough and his wife went to each table and personally thanked volunteers and members. He also made a warm public thank you to all guests. We truly appreciate Mayor Clough’s ongoing support of Compeer.

Westlake has been supportive to mental health services since the deinstitutionalization movement in the 1970s. The Far West Center was started in the 1970s by a group of caring professionals and family members that wanted to make community mental health services locally accessible. 

When St. John West Shore Hospital was built in 1981, it was agreed that Far West Center would be built on the hospital’s campus. In 1988, Far West Center decided to begin a branch of Compeer Inc. 

I was fortunate to be employed at Far West Center as a case manager in 1988 when our Compeer Program began and was honored to be accepted as Compeer Program Coordinator in 2008. Each year I find the cities of Westlake and Bay Village increasingly more supportive of mental health issues. Many organizations have offered community support to Compeer Members without out question.

There are other generous local businesses we would like to thank for their help in making our Annual Winter Party special.  Those donors are Bay Lanes, Bob Evans, BAYarts, Clague Playhouse, Pat Catan’s, and Lysa Stanton of both the Westlake Historical Society and SkyShorePrints.com. Thank you! Your generosity is very much appreciated. The dinner and free raffle prizes brightened the winter holidays for many adults that struggle with depression.

As this new year begin , the Compeer Program hopes Westlake and Bay Village organizations “Catch the Spirit of Friendship, Past, Present, and Future.” As previously mentioned, in the past and at present these two cities have supported the recovery paths of those managing mental health issues.

Now as we enter 2011 the Compeer Program is asking Westlake and Bay Village organizations, such as city, police, fire and senior services departments, civic clubs, faith organizations and educational organizations, to please consider volunteering for Compeer for one year. 

For individuals to volunteer for Compeer all that is required is four hours per month, being a friend, engaging in conversation, listening and empathy. Being a friend to someone will change his or her life. Compeer has weekly fun and interesting social activities to offer both volunteers and members. Please contact us at 440-835-6212, ext. 242, or compeer@farwestcenter.com.

Please give us a call and we can provide additional stories of how Compeer's one-to-one matches have brought people out of isolation and back into the community! Among our four new Volunteers are two social work students and two experienced teachers! 

Now for a follow up on my last article about making good on Shari's bet: Shari is a woman that won a bet with me by staying out of mental health hospitalization for an entire year! She continues successfully on her path to recovery. Now it's time for me to make good on my half of the bargin. Shari and her match volunteer, Krystal, came up with an idea.  They have requested that I sing Karaoke! The time and place have yet to be determined. Even though singing is not what I am skilled at, it's simple compared to committing to manage severe depression! If interested in joining in on that fun evening please consider volunteering for Compeer!

Happy New Year to Westlake and Bay Village!

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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 3:39 PM, 01.07.2011