People’s Place Holds Annual Breakfast

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On Wednesday, May 18th People’s Place held their 2011 Annual Breakfast and Awards Ceremony. Over 120 staff members, Board of Directors, special guests and supporters attended and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast buffet prepared and served by An Affair to Remember Catering Service at the Milford Senior Center in Milford. Del Failing, the agency’s Executive Director, welcomed everyone and thanked the staff for another great year of serving the residents of Delaware and surrounding communities with the many, varied human services that People’s Place offers as well as the agency’s supporters attending

The guest speaker this year was Drewry N. Fennell, Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Council of Delaware. Prior to assuming that position, she was the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware. Ms. Fennell commended People’s Place and its staff for their dedication and the high-quality services they provide to those in our communities needing mental health and social services.

Each year People’s Place honors two employees, one volunteer and a community service and People’s Place supporter or group. This year the agency added another category – Rookie of the Year for a new employee that has worked with the agency for a minimum of 6 months and no more than 18 months. At this year’s Annual Breakfast Linda Huffine and Darlene Rust received the 2011 Employees of the Year Awards; Maggie Duffy received the Rookie of the Year Award; Richard Kauffman received the Volunteer of the Year Award; and the GFWC Delaware State Federation of Women Club received the Community Service and People’s Place Supporter or Group of the Year Award, which is also given in memory of the late Chris White. Ms. Huffine has been with the agency for 11 years with their Turning Point and Visitation Centers Programs as Office Manager. Darlene Rust has also been with People’s Place for 11 years and is presently the Child Advocate for their SAFE program. Both Linda and Darlene were described by their supervisors and fellow-employees as motivated, dependable, ethical, reliable, committed and dependable. Maggie Duffy has been with agency as the Non-Secure Detention Program Manger for 18 months and has become known as always positive, reliable, dependable with a perfect attendance record. All three ladies have been active either on agency committees and/or have volunteered their free time to work at People’s Place events.

Richard Kauffman received the 2011 People’s Place Volunteer of the Year for his many years of service as a Volunteer Mediator in their Center for Community Justice program. Mr. Kauffman not only mediates difficult issues between clients on and off site, he also assists in the program’s trainings and teaches classes on ethics and other pertinent subjects in the community. He also serves as a retired minister for his retirement community. He is described as extremely pleasant, kind, gentle, and genuinely concerned about people in general. Mr. Kauffman is one of about 40 mediators who volunteer their time at People’s Place and mediate disputes between employers/ employees, parents/ children and neighbor/neighbor etc.

Each year the agency selects someone or a group that exemplifies an active, caring interest in community affairs and concerns and who has also made significant contributions of service and/or resources etc. to the agency. The 2011 Community Service and People’s Place Supporter of the Year award went to the GFWC Delaware State Federation of Women Club. Trish Rodriguez, Carol Donlon, Peggy Long and Naomi Carmean were present to receive the award. Mrs. Rogriguez, the club’s President, spoke with compassion and enthusiasm about domestic violence and the efforts by the club and People’s Place to eradicate domestic violence and to help those who have to deal with its issues. The GFWC Delaware State Federation of Women Club has supported People’s Place in many ways over the years. They have collected massive amounts of clothing as well as organizing pajamas, toiletries, stuffed animals and gift cards drives. The club recently received the Domestic Violence Awareness Award for the state and will go on to compete at the national level soon. They are truly soldiers against domestic violence and friends of People’s Place.