June/July 1998 Articles

Director's Column
NCFAN Designated 'Safe Place'
Need for "Necessities for Living" Continues
New Fall fundraiser and Membership Campaign
Education News
New Evening Phone Line Coordinator
Fairwell to Mary Jo Delahunty
Thanks to Our Volunteers!

If you love to:

  • Create a great meal

  • Entertain friends

  • Savor fine dinners

  • Meet new friends

Then you must do the NCFANDANGO!

Our new fall fund-raiser combines all of the ingredients for a wonderful evening. During August 15 to September 15, we need hosts to serve as party-givers for invitation-only dinner socials. You plan the party and invite the guests of your choice.

The only thing your guests must consider is a generous donation to NCFAN as they enjoy their evening. At the conclusion of the month-long round of parties, NCFAN will hold a dessert reception to thank all participants.

So come trip the light NCFANDANGO with us! Call us at 372-4370 for all the details. And remember, there are rules, no restrictions on the theme or number of parties. It's your choice!

. . .From the Director

This issue addresses two very important opportunities for you to actively participate in NCFAN. Our annual membership campaign, Friends of NCFAN, begins this month and we have tried to make it easier for you to become a Friend.

Included with hardcopy version of NCFANMail is a membership campaign form that explains the various levels of participation. Please join at your most comfortable level. To receive a hardcopy of NCFANMail or to request more information about the membership campaign, please email NCFAN.

The Friends of NCFAN campaign is essential to our financial well-being, and I encourage you to support our mission of quality client services and prevention education. All of your donations and contributions to NCFAN are tax deductible.

An exciting new event is underway during the months of August and September called NCFANDANGO. This is our local spin-off of a very popular nationwide fund-raiser where private individuals hold invitation-only dinners parties in their homes. Each host or hostess personally decides who and how many guests to invite to their party. As "admission," guests will be requested to leave a donation for NCFAN.

After the dinners have been held, NCFAN will have a "thank you" reception for all participants. Details are currently being worked out as we go to print, so if you are interested in being a host or a participant, give me a call at the office. We know that many great evenings of fun will be had by all, and hope that this will become a very popular event for NCFAN.

With regret, we said a very fond adieu to case manager Mary Jo Delahunty, who took a position with University Medical Center in Jacksonville. We wish her the best of luck in her new endeavor. Joining NCFAN this month is Maria Lepore, our new case manager. Maria comes to us from New Haven, Connecticut, where she had been employed as a social worker with the state. Also joining our NCFAN family this month is Naima Smith, who becomes our first Child-Parent Educator, a position which is funded through the United Way of Alachua County.

Welcome to NCFAN, Maria and Naima!

- Joseph F. Antonelli, Executive Director, NCFAN

NCFAN Designated 'Safe Place' for Troubled Youth

Project Safe Place has designated NCFAN as an official "Safe Place" site where youths in trouble may seek help.

Project Safe Place is a network of businesses who donate their facilities as access points to the Interface Youth Service Center.

In Gainesville, the Interface Youth Service Center is administered by the Corner Drug Store.

When a youth in trouble comes to a Safe Place, he or she can be assured that they will be removed from harm's way, and picked up by a staff person from the Interface shelter as soon as possible. If immediate help is needed, Safe Place personnel are advised to call 911.

Interface may be reached 24 hours a day at 334-3833 or 334-3834.

Need for "Necessities for Living" Supplies Continues Year ‘Round

The month-long focus on NCFAN’s Necessities for Living program has concluded, but the urgency for supplies continues.

Although the annual July supply drive heightens community awareness about the basic necessities program, NCFAN’s shelves must be stocked every month to fulfill the needs of clients living on a limited income.

Last month, with Gainesville Fire Rescue’s seven city fire stations as drop off sites, NCFAN received community donations that partially filled its store room with the much needed supplies.

A major portion of the July donations came from the students of UF’s "Exceptional People" class, under the direction of Dr. Stuart Schwartz.

Donations are needed every month to assure that no client goes without what most of us take for granted.

Household products, laundry detergents and personal care items may be brought to NCFAN headquarters Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

New Fall Fund-Raiser Introduced; Membership Campaign Begins

With the lazy days of summer drawing to a close, NCFAN opens another fall season by introducing a new fund-raising social, NCFANDANGO.

This time of year also signals the beginning of the annual membership campaign. Both occasions are necessary to assure the continuation of NCFAN's services and programs.

NCFANDANGO premieres this month with a series of privately hosted dinner parties specifically held to raise funds for NCFAN. Hosts may be as creative as they wish with dinner party themes, and they may invite whomever they choose as guests. There is only one caveat: Each guest must make a donation to NCFAN.

When all the dinner parties have been held, NCFAN will host a reception (date and place to be announced) to thank hosts and guests.

If you are interested in being a host, please call NCFAN at 372-4370 for more details.

Membership is also another important fund-raising event.

This year membership levels have been redesigned to accommodate everyone who would wish to contribute to NCFAN. A convenient membership form has been included with the current issue of NCFANMail.

Education News

We welcome Naima Smith to NCFAN, our new Child-Parent Educator.

Education also thanks our volunteers for June and July. Sharing their time with us were Paul Steele, Mark Lasam, Daniel Gillis, Ronald Riggins, Lynda Owens, Ricky Ezzell, Richard Babb, Mark Stuart, Steven Womeldurf, Sophia, and Denise.

Jennifer Wiley, Prevention Outreach Coordinator, has taken a new job with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, and we wish her well - we’ll miss you, Jen, and best of luck!

New Evening Phone Line Coordinator

Patrice Parker is our new Evening Phone Line Coordinator. If you would like to volunteer for evening phones, please call her at 372-4370.

NCFAN bids farewell to Mary Jo Delahunty

The North Central Florida AIDS Network reluctantly said good bye to one of its Project AIDS Care case managers this month.

After more than three years at NCFAN, Mary Jo Delahunty accepted a position as a clinical social worker in the Department of Pediatrics at University Medical Center in Jacksonville.

Leaving NCFAN is not easy, Mary Jo said.

"My time at NCFAN truly has been the most rewarding and challenging of my life," she said. "The clients and the workers in this field of HIV/AIDS have enriched my life immeasurably. I will miss everyone."

But she is excited about the opportunity to work at University Medical Center.

"I am very interested in expanding my knowledge in a medical environment," Mary Jo said. "I am also looking forward to working in pediatrics."

A native of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Mary Jo received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Rutgers University, graduating magna cum laude.

In 1989, she took a position at a long term care facility in Stuart, Florida, before returning to school for her graduate degree.

In Gainesville, Mary Jo enrolled in the Florida State University graduate social work program. Classes for the program are held at the University of Florida.

While pursuing her studies, Mary Jo handled a full case load at NCFAN and served as the liaison for the client support group and the buddy support group.

In March, Mary Jo was named Student Social Worker of the Year by the Gainesville Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and later received her MSW degree.

NCFAN co-workers expressed sorrow with Mary Jo’s departure, but were not surprised that others recognized her talents and skills.

"It's difficult to lose such a talented and valuable employee," Mike Day, Client Services supervisor, said. "But this is a positive move for Mary Jo. We will miss her very much, and wish her well in her new job."

Kim McGahee-Caton, PAC case manager, not only saw Mary Jo as an exceptional co-worker, but also as a good friend.

"Mary Jo is ‘da bomb,’" Kim said, laughing. "Mary Jo's interaction with clients was so well-respected that we nicknamed her ‘da bomb’ - which means ‘the best.’

"She was a great help to me when I started working at NCFAN," Kim continued. "She was always available whenever I needed to consult about a case. Mary Jo is just the best there is, and we will truly miss her."

Thanks to Our Volunteers!

On June 28, 1998, NCFAN honored its volunteers at a picnic and pool party held at the home of Patsy and Sid Sanders.

Cited for special attention were board members, Susan Park and Frank Walters. They shared the "Volunteer of the Year" award in appreciation of their many hours spent devoted to event activities and the business operations of NCFAN.

Another board member, Richard Babb, received the Richard Bruce Achievement Award for his generous contribution of time and effort to the 1998 "Love, Life & Legs" AIDS Walk.

Other volunteers were awarded certificates of appreciation for their tireless contributions to event planning and participation, daily NCFAN operations, and special programs.

Honored were Linda Louise Braswell, Karen Brassard, Greg Allen, Daniel Gillis, Eva Squires, Mark Cowan, Chris Salamanca, Joe Weider, Sheila O’Neill, Rotem Adar, Ron Riggins, Robert Henderson, Patrice Parker, and board members, Ricky Ezzell, Paul Kuritzky, and Mark Stuart.

Thanks, Volunteers! And thank you Patsy and Sid Sanders for an unforgettable afternoon!

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