HYFAC Reviews Recent and Planned Events

Darlene Vittori-Marsell, Chair, called the December meeting of the Youth and Family Advisory Council to order at 7:03 PM.  Minutes from their last meeting in October 2019 were approved. 

Melissa Stacy, Chair of the Holliston Drug and Alcohol Awareness Coalition (HDAAC), reported of the success of the December 4th event, “The Opioid Art Project” to the Council.  “We planned for 20 people to attend, and 50 people were there…We had to add seats!” said Stacy. “It was really a positive experience.” Five members of Holliston’s faith community offered prayers, Rep. Carolynn Dykema spoke, along with other invited speakers offering their experience with addiction of someone close to them.  Among the speakers was Kathryn Peirce, Town Assessor.

Stacy thanked all who were in attendance from the Council, as well as the Holliston Reporter, HCAT, who taped the program, members of the Town’s leadership, School Committee members, as well as all from the public.  The HCAT program “Heartbeat of Holliston” also interviewed Stacey and others involved.  In next steps, Stacy said HDAAC plans to create a survey of parents to assess their needs.

Jaclyn Winer, Director of Youth and Family Services, reported her plan to attend a meeting of the Select Board in December to speak about possible avenues for funding of addiction prevention.  Additionally, she and Dr. Bradford Jackson, Superintendent of School, have co-authored a Community Resource document, providing resources for crisis, food assistance, and much more.  It is accessible through the Town website:           Community Resources  and will be updated yearly.

Winer highlighted several items from the written “Director’s Report.”  “The Social Spot,” is scheduled on Friday, December 27, noon to 3 PM, at the Holliston Public Library.  Winer relayed details of the event, a collaboration of Winer and Kirsten Rancourt, Community Therapist and Court Diversion Coordinator, with the Holliston Senior Center (to provide transportation for youth at Cutler Heights to the library) and the Public Library (providing the Gilman Room at the Library).   The event is free and youth are encouraged to pack a lunch.  A movie (“Abominable”) will be shown, and games and crafts will be available. Popcorn, drinks and snacks will be provided.  See flyer for additional details:

Other events brought forward by Winer include an event (Winer says, ”Parents will want to attend”) being planned at the Warren Conference Center with Meg Camire as a speaker.  The conference will highlight ways to access health resources in your community and actions being taken in Holliston.  Winer met recently with Sen. Karen Spilka’s aide to discuss preliminary plans. 

In program and clinic updates, Winer noted, “November and December have remained extremely busy. We had 23 new referrals in November.” 

John Drohan, Chair of the Holliston Community Action Fund, reported that the group has provided $6000 in “assistance grants” in 2019.  The group is planning two fundraisers for the spring. 

A new program, “Operation Everybody Matters,” an afterschool club, will begin in 2020 at Holliston High School and will be open to Adams Middle School students as well.  It will provide a place for students “to do something fun while belonging to a group.”

Vittori-Marsell reported on recent changes to the membership of the Council.  Due to a recent resignation, one spot on the Council remains unfilled.  If interested, please contact Vittori-Marsell or send a letter of interest to the Select Board.

The next meeting of the Youth Advisory Council is planned for January 27, 2020.  The meeting adjourned at 7:52 PM. 

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Yvette Cain

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