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Successful Yard Sale Supports Patient Fund

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Eager shoppers came out in force at the parking lot at the Norristown High School on July 18. Folks braved the unforgiving sun to attend the MCES Craft/Vendor/Yard Sale.

It was a family-friendly event that drew entrepreneurs from near, far, and everywhere in between who came to hawk their wares, and a good time was had by all.

MCES Director of Allied Therapy Jesse Celestin and Chief Operating Officer Bill Myers had a table of must-have goodies that they sold from their homes and the rest of the vendors were from the community at large. In all, 21 vendors were there, making the most of the opportunity.

Approximately $577 in table fees and refreshment sales were netted to support the MCES Patient Fund. The sale was another positive opportunity for MCES to be present in the greater Norristown community.

MCES is grateful to the staff who worked so hard to organize the event, the MCES Events Committee, and to all the vendors and shoppers who helped make the event a success.

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Crisis Residential Program Embraces Change

Saturday, August 1, 2015

It is often said that change is the only constant in our lives. The Crisis Residential Program (CRP) is embracing many positive changes.

Jeff Million is the Assistant Director supporting the CRP in a supervisory role. Maranda Mills has settled into the role of Case Manager, supporting our clients with social service needs. Suzanne West has overcome some medical issues and has returned to work at the CRP as a Mental Health Professional.

As the CRP Director, I feel grateful to have these individuals in their new roles. I am also thankful to have such amazing employees, providing consumer-centered treatment to the clients we serve in a supportive, therapeutic, home-like environment.

Dawn Yavuz, MA, LPC
MCES Crisis Residential Program

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Sistah Mafalda To Perform At MCES

Sunday, August 2, 2015

MCES's Inpatient Concert Series continues, with only a brief, unfortunate interruption in July due to a rain cancellation of the eagerly-anticipated return of the 40-plus members of the Merion Concert Band, who were slated to perform a rousing concert in MCES's outdoor Courtyard in mid-July.

The Merion Concert Band wowed MCES with a truly great concert last year. We hope to have a smaller contingent of the band back again in the autumn, performing a chamber concert indoors that will be unhampered by whatever Mother Nature has to bring.

In mid-August, MCES will warmly welcome Artistic Director and Dance Instructor, dancer and percussionist Sistah Mafalda to MCES. This unique, energetic performance experience will incorporate drumming, dancing, and singing, along with engaging education about Caribbean and African culture, heritage, and everyday life.

Sistah Mafalda has traveled the world—from Brazil to Trinidad to Senegal and Mali—to learn, explore, and experience different cultures and musical techniques. Always adding to her diverse array of skills and talents, Mafalda has trained with a stilt-walker, is a ballroom dancing instructor, has taught at Villanova and Cheney Universities, and has participated in international dance-exchange programs.

The August concert featuring Sistah Mafalda is a product of MCES's ongoing collaboration with Art-Reach, a Philadelphia organization dedicated to expanding exposure to the arts for underserved populations, and is made possible through a grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. MCES is committed to enhancing the inpatient treatment experience by offering creative performing arts experiences to its patients.

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MCES Lauded At Wilder Conference

Monday, June 29, 2015

by Gabriel Nathan, Development Specialist

I have to admit to feeling a tad out-of-place initially inside the sumptuously ornate walls of Salve Regina University’s Young Building, a Queen Anne-style mansion originally built in 1850.  Salve Regina itself is 75 acres and has its own Cliff Walk, with gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean.  This was the setting for the 2nd International Thornton Wilder Conference, held from June 11-June 13 in Newport, Rhode Island.  The conference is a gathering of folks who teach, study, write about, perform, direct and are intrigued by the works of one of America’s most celebrated playwrights. 

The Thornton Wilder Society invited me to present a paper on MCES’s experience with producing Our Town at Building 33 in December.  An impressive array of Wilder scholars were assembled at the conference, nationally from North Carolina, Maryland, Oklahoma, Florida, Missouri, and internationally from Mexico, China, France, Italy and Iran.  Noted American playwrights Paula Vogel, Will Eno, and Matthew Burnett participated in a playwright’s panel on the importance of Wilder on contemporary American theatre and Vogel was presented with the Thornton Wilder Award at the closing night banquet.  Thornton Wilder’s nephew, Tappan Wilder, was also present, as was Rosey Strub, Programs Manager for the Wilder Estate.  Both Tappan and Rosey were enthusiastic supporters of MCES’s production.   

I sat on a panel entitled “Wilder in Production” and presented my paper, “Our Norristown: The Staff of a Crisis Psychiatric Hospital Creates a Life-Changing Experience, Their Production of Our Town.”  While I was identified in the program as an “Independent Scholar,” there was nothing very scholarly about my paper, but it told the honest story of our small hospital and our big play.  While beautiful rehearsal and performance pictures taken by Julie Peticca and Paul Butler played on a slideshow in the background, I talked about how we came together as a cast to produce meaningful, creative theatre for ourselves and the community, and how we were changed by the experience. 

The paper was received very warmly by all in attendance, and I was approached by countless individuals who asked further questions about our process.  People were amazed by the courage and enthusiasm with which 22 plus mental health professionals took leave of their insecurities (and their senses?) and became real characters in Thornton Wilder’s best-loved, most-performed play.  Conference participants offered sincere support and gratitude for our efforts to not only become united by Thornton Wilder, but to share his work with our community. 

They were also quite moved by the extraordinary work done at MCES, every single day.     

Click to view the OC87 Recovery Diaries profile on MCES’s Our Town Performance

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MCES Receives Funding For Staff Concerts

Monday, June 29, 2015

MCES is honored to announce a grant from the Mary Daly MacFarland Foundation to support a Staff Concert Series at MCES. 

MCES is a rewarding place to work, but it is also stressful and challenging at times, and these concerts will give staff members a unique opportunity to engage in a culturally-enriching, tranquil and relaxing experience, without ever leaving the hospital.  Throughout the upcoming year, there will be eight concert events that will take place at varying times throughout the day and evening for staff members to attend and enjoy. 

The concerts will take place in the MCES Board Room, and all performances will feature high-quality, professional musicians from the Philadelphia area.  These events are being made available due to the success of the grant-funded Inpatient Concert Series for the patients, which have also been enjoyed by accompanying staff members.  The Mary Daly MacFarland Foundation made this grant in memory of Mary Daly MacFarland and of her daughter, Elizabeth A. Wilson.

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