Family Harvest Walk and Run held at MCC

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Manchester - posted Thu., Nov. 7, 2013
John White, Jennifer Difranco and Laurie Laube prepare for the Family Harvest Walk/Run. Photos by Lisa Stone.
John White, Jennifer Difranco and Laurie Laube prepare for the Family Harvest Walk/Run. Photos by Lisa Stone.

The Community Child Guidance Clinic of Manchester held its annual 5K Family Harvest Walk and Run on Oct. 27 at Manchester Community College. Several runners and walkers came out to support the clinic and the cause.

The CCGC has one main goal: to help all children that need mental health care. The clinic is driven to providing the best quality of health care for the community. Regardless of the family’s ability to pay, the child will receive the best care and treatment that is possible.

The CCGC has launched a new program designated to diagnosing autism. “We are very proud to have this program,” said Tina Ayoub,  who is program developer of CCGC as well as event coordinator. “We want to help the children of the community. If the child is able to receive outpatient care and stay with the family while improving their mental health status that is incredible. We want to help families stay together and have the best life possible. That is what we are all about," said Ayoub.

"It’s all about the kids. We want the healthiest kids possible," Ayoub continued. "We try desperately to get families involved with making the kids happy and healthy. The schools, pediatricians and community volunteers are making this clinic a success. Events like this are a win–win for everyone. People have fun while helping the children.”

“This is the first year for our 1K children’s fun run,” said board president Claire Lippolis. “This is the second year for our 5K run. There are more runners this year than last year. All proceeds go to the clinic. We are available to all children in need regardless of their financial position. The money that we raise from events like this go to offset the cost for that kind of help. We help all families, foster families as well.”

Patrick Quirk is the board treasurer as well as the co-chair for the run. “We are expecting approximately 100 runners and walkers today,” said Quirk. “Families are very important to us. IWe have been providing mental health services since 1959. The kids are great and the clinic is a great place to work,” Quirk said.

CCGC director Cliff Johnson was on hand to lend support wherever he was needed. “We service 1,200 families a year,” said Johnson. “We just purchased an additional space on Main Street. We are expanding to help even more children stay in the community while getting treatment. Since the 1970s, the clinic has had a school that is designed for children that are not able to be a part of the main stream education system due to mental illness. The school helps approximately 35 students. We have had a great deal of success with that program.”

Dr. Ellen Marmer is a volunteer for the clinic and the longest running board member. “I have been with the clinic for 43 years,” said Marmer. “The biggest problem that we encounter with the mental health field isn’t the clinical aspects. The paperwork that the federal government makes us fill out is very distracting from servicing the child’s needs. The Affordable Care Act doesn’t provide adequate mental health for the patients. People are so concerned about gun control, but they aren’t taking time to realize that the gun isn’t doing anything wrong; it is the mentally unstable person using the gun that is the real problem. More access to proper mental health care is the key to several problems,” she said.

Marc Gaudet was one of the participants in the Harvest Run. “This morning, my son Colin woke up and said that he wanted to cheer for his father,” said Leah Gaudet. “Brayden and Kaylin are here to yell for Marc as well. We are going to wait at the finish line and cheer when he finishes his race.” Colin added, “I hope Daddy wins!”

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