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Stories

LifePath Hosts 45th Anniversary Celebration

John Howland, CEO of Greenfield Savings Bank (center), receives an award from LifePath Executive Director Barbara Bodzin (right) which was presented by Jim Geisman, Treasurer of the Board of Directors, LifePath (left).John Howland, CEO of Greenfield Savings Bank (center), receives an award from LifePath Executive Director Barbara Bodzin (right) which was presented by Jim Geisman, Treasurer of the Board of Directors, LifePath (left).Awards Presented to Greenfield Savings Bank and Others

LifePath celebrated its 45th Anniversary and annual meeting Thursday, November 21, with a party and awards ceremony attended by about 150 sponsors, volunteers, the Board of Directors, staff, and members of the community at the Cohn Family Dining Commons of Greenfield Community College.

The event began with guests mingling while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and listening to live music donated by The G Notes. This was also the chance for guests to join the 50/50 raffle and to bid on over 40 silent auction items including a La-Z-Boy recliner, a Dean’s Beans Coffee Gift Pack, a 2013 Grand Reserve Chardonnay valued at $225, a Zoar Canopy Tour for 2, a Cranwell Golf Resort package for 4, MASS MoCA Gallery museum admission for 2, professional service packages for planning and legal consultation, restaurant gift cards including Black Cow Burger Bar, shopping gift cards, and gift baskets.

When addressing LifePath’s volunteers, Bodzin pointed out their number was almost twice as large as the amount of LifePath staff . . .

The reception was followed by opening remarks from Evelyn Walsh, President of LifePath’s Board of Directors, who welcomed everyone to the event and thanked them for their contributions to the local community. Walsh then thanked Barbara Bodzin, LifePath’s Executive Director, for “her leadership, perseverance, hard work, and dedication to LifePath’s mission and goals.”

Bodzin stated, “I am so pleased to see all of you here tonight in support of the work that has been carried out by LifePath for the past 45 years, which is providing options for independence in our local communities to elders, people with disabilities, and their caregivers.”

A buffet dinner was followed by Bodzin’s opening remarks acknowledging the Board of Directors, Citizens Advisory Board, Money Management Advisory Board, Rainbow Elders Steering Committee, and the over 250 volunteers.

When addressing LifePath’s volunteers, Bodzin pointed out their number was almost twice as large as the amount of LifePath staff, saying, “We truly could not do what we do without your support. We appreciate your willingness to give of yourself, your time, your energy, your knowledge, and your passion to serve others. You are the mainstay of many of our programs and your work fills in gaps for services and supports provided to the community which we would not be able to provide without you. Thank you for your service.”

Bodzin thanked donors and asked all staff who had been at LifePath for 10 years or more to please stand, telling them, “LifePath is fortunate to have the expertise and institutional knowledge carried by a significant number of dedicated employees who have been on staff for 10 or more years. Thank you for your years of quality work and for the continuity achieved through your dedicated service.” Bodzin then asked the rest of LifePath staff to stand to acknowledge their outstanding work before introducing Keynote Speaker Raeann LeBlanc, PhD, DNP, Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

LeBlanc, who has board certification as an Adult Gerontological Nurse Practitioner and Hospice/Palliative care nurse, is currently a “Nurstory Scholar,” advancing clinical education with the power of story and a narrative approach to health, healing, and health care. LeBlanc explained “The 3 C’s to be FIT,” or caring, connecting, and community as a way to foster independence together.

LifePath Executive Director Barbara Bodzin embraces members of the Fisher family, who were awarded The Cheryl Fisher LifePath Champion Award in honor of Cheryl’s dedication to Meals on Wheels. Carol Foote, Development Director at LifePath (left), presented the award.LifePath Executive Director Barbara Bodzin embraces members of the Fisher family, who were awarded The Cheryl Fisher LifePath Champion Award in honor of Cheryl’s dedication to Meals on Wheels. Carol Foote, Development Director at LifePath (left), presented the award. “One aspect that I have admired the most about my interactions with the individuals that make up the organization of LifePath, has been their deep sense of addressing honestly the challenges, the cases, the circumstances and the ethical imperatives that are often in tension in fostering independence while also needing and giving support, as well as the openness of clients, families, and community members in negotiating the meaning and value of independence at different stages in their life course.”

LifePath also debuted its new Annual Report at the meeting, which can be found on its website.

Development Director Carol Foote kicked off the awards portion of the evening by presenting the 2019 Cheryl Fisher LifePath Champion Award to Brittani Brooks, Terry Fisher, and Stefani Williams for continuing Cheryl Fisher’s legacy as a passionate champion for LifePath’s Meals on Wheels program with their new Walkathon team “Cheryl’s Pride” in honor of Fisher, who passed away from cancer earlier this year. Cheryl’s Pride won the family-based team category for most money raised in the 2019 Meals on Wheels Walkathon.

Other awards and award winners were:

2019 LifePath Community Partner Award
In recognition of your loyal and generous partnership with LifePath
Greenfield Savings Bank

2019 LifePath Benefactor Award
In recognition of your foresight to leave a legacy that supports options for independence in our community
Charles N. Moore, Jr.

2019 LifePath Caregiver Award
In recognition of your attentive, loving, and devoted caregiving of your wife Jude
Peter Vearling

2019 LifePath Caregiver Award
In recognition of going above and beyond in your support, advocacy, and care of elders
Jennifer Frates

2019 LifePath Volunteer Service Award
In recognition of your longevity, spirit, and dedication to the Meals on Wheels program and those you serve
Roseanne “Rosie” Amodeo

2019 LifePath Volunteer Service Award
In recognition of your depth and breadth of service within LifePath’s nutrition program
Patricia Webb

2019 LifePath Dedicated Service Award
In recognition of your years of service as a valued leader of staff, your insightful contributions as a board member, and your eternal support of LifePath
Deb Taylor

2019 LifePath Board Leadership Award
In recognition of your many years of thoughtful leadership and valuable contributions as president and a member of the LifePath Board of Directors
Regina Curtis

The night ended with auction winners being announced and Bodzin thanking all attendees and event organizers. The celebration wouldn’t have been possible without generous sponsors Compuworks, Greenfield Savings Bank, Health New England, Heywood Healthcare, Northern Benefits/The Schuster Group, La-Z-Boy Comfort Studio, ProsperiTea Planning, and Victory Home Healthcare.