By John Anderson
During Wednesday’s annual meeting of Auburn Youth and Family Services, two long-time volunteers were recognized for their community service. Norman LaFlash received the 34th Annual Children’s Friend Award while Steve Londregan received the 2nd Annual Ben Masterman Business Community Service Award.
Mr. LaFlash is chairman of the Auburn Youth Commission; heads the annual postal service food drive in this region; and, most recently, asked the Board of Selectmen for increased funding for AYFS. The current budget of $110,000 falls far short of the nearly $180,000 in contracted services provided to the town.
Mr. Londregan, owner of Chucks Steak House, has supported numerous local and regional charities including AYFS. Chucks will host the upcoming wine and food tasting fundraiser on November 7th. His award is named after the late Ben Masterman who devoted countless hours and funds to AYFS.
The AYFS annual appeal is starting as well, and a goal of $50,000 has been set. The organizations operates on a very tight budget and functions through donations and fundraisers including Dancing with the Stars of Auburn, the Auburn Rocket Road Race, and Auburn’s Walk for Hunger. In FY2014, AYFS served 2,901 residents through counseling, adolescent programs, holiday meals, and many other valuable programs. The food pantry and clothing corner see ever increasing requests. A total of 3,878 volunteer hours were logged last year.
School Superintendent Maryellen Brunelle was the guest speaker at the meeting. She was the guest speaker in 2008 when she had just started her new role in Auburn Public Schools. After detailing some of the multitude of accomplishments in the school system under her leadership, Dr. Brunelle thanked Executive Director Sally D’Arcangelo and AYFS for their positive response history. “YES is always, and I mean always, the answer that the Auburn Public Schools hears from her and her team when we call needing assistance for the benefit of our students.”
Brunelle added, “We, the Auburn Public Schools and Auburn Youth and Family Services, continue to enjoy a thriving partnership that is mutually beneficial and focused on the well-being of the Auburn community, and most especially our students and their families.” When you have the opportunity, please donate to this worthy cause.