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Pathways gala comes at a crucial time

August 21, 2018

GREENWICH — For 37 years, Greenwich-based Pathways has been helping people with mental illness. Next month, area residents will have their chance to support that work.

The annual Pathways gala will take place on Sept. 15 at the Shenorock Shore Club in Rye. The event will benefit those who need housing and other care, including the 38 of Pathway’s current 100 clients who require around-the-clock services.

Florence Griffin, Pathways executive director, said private support is more important than ever given state budget cuts. In 2017, the state cut $100,000 from its yearly $890,000 allocation to the agency, a reduction that was repeated in 2018 and which will grow by an additional $30,000 in 2019.

“This gala is critical for our operations and funding the services that our clients rely on,” Griffin said on Tuesday. “We’ve got a long waiting list for all our programs and we can only accommodate so many people. We have a real demand and it’s the support that comes in from this annual gala that allows us to help people.”

The 2017 cut was not the first that Pathways had received, and Griffin is not optimistic that the future will see funding restored.

“I don’t think the money we have lost will ever be recouped,” Griffin said. “We had received a cut in 2005 and the money was never given back to us in all the years that followed. ... The money never seems to go up, it only goes down.”

More information about the gala is online at www.501auctions/pathwaysgala including ticket and sponsorship information. The event will include a sit-down dinner, cocktails and live music. Greenwich resident Kendra Farn will serve as the emcee.

“We hope everyone will come and have a great time to support Pathways and all we do for our clients,” Griffin said.

Pathways was formed in 1981 as a private, non-profit agency by parents who had children suffering from mental illness.

Today Pathways operates a day program in Cos Cob and has four group homes in the town, creating safe and affordable housing for those who need it. Pathways provides services to people suffering from severe and prolonged mental illnesses including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression.

An auction at the fundraiser will include vacations to a Wyoming ranch, a Rhode Island Inn and Miami, which includes tickets for an AFC East showdown between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins.

“It’s really going to be a lot of fun,” gala co-chair Jenn Warwick said. “We booked MOJO XL, a real up and coming band and we’re thrilled to have them performing live at the event. Plus we’re in an amazing venue on the water with a great view.”

Funds also are being raised through a giving tree at the gala website. There people can purchase needed items for group homes such as outdoor chairs, kitchen items, appliances, beds and holiday decorations.

The gala comes at a time of growth for Pathways, which in June received approval from the town Planning and Zoning Commission to expand its day program facility in Cos Cob on 8 Sinawoy Road. The approved plan calls for the demolition of the existing building and replacing it with a nearly 7,000-square-foot building.

kborsuk@greenwichtime.com

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