Mercy Centre in Worcester resumes seasonal picnic

Telegram & Gazette

by: Craig Semon September 22, 2017

“The quality of mercy is not strained.

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”

- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

WORCESTER – Life isn’t always a picnic.

But for more than four decades, the Mercy Centre has offered a series of employment support and community-based day programs to enrich the lives of adults with developmental disabilities, helping them learn how to interact productively in society.

In the spirt of this outreach tradition, the Mercy Centre hosted a picnic Friday for its adult clients, their family and friends.

With support from the Emerald Club, the Mercy Centre revived the picnic tradition, an event that used to be held annually but was stopped several years ago.

“There are many things that we do. We find people jobs. We have programs that are all community, leisure, social activities, and we have day hab (day habilitation) programs,” Mercy Centre Administrator Peg A. Buzzell said. “Every day is a new day.”

Emerald Club’s President Cait Lubelczyk praised the tireless work of Ms. Buzzell and her staff and the sense of accomplishment it brings to the Mercy Centre’s nearly 120 clients.

“Until you see the adults who need these services and the amount of the services that they actually need, you don’t realize how much work they do here at the Mercy Centre. You have to get in and see it for yourself,” Ms. Lubelczyk said.

 

“So by bringing back the picnic, it brings the Mercy Centre and the Emerald Club back together again, so it’s not just the Emerald Club having their fundraising events and sending them checks.”

In addition to Worcester and state police mounted units, the Worcester Fire Department and members of Worcester Bravehearts and Worcester Railers were on hand to add to the festivities, which featured food provided by The Broadway on Water Street.

Eileen “Wicky” Gareau’s daughter, Katy, graduated from the Perkins School for the Blind 18 years ago and has been an adult member of the Mercy Centre ever since.

“Being a parent, when you have a child, turning 22, it’s like, now where do they go?” Ms. Gareau said. “So we’re fortunate that ... the Mercy Centre started an appointment support program for three young women ... It was totally new for them” and they tried to help them get a job.

 

Today, Katy volunteers her piano-playing skills at area nursing homes and is working part-time at Danielson Flower shop in Shrewsbury, all thanks to the Mercy Centre.

“She’s been there for years. She loves it,” Ms. Gareau said of her daughter. “Even though she only works one day a week, it makes her feel so good. The Mercy Centre really gets these kids out into the community. And they’re accepted by the community ... that’s what important.”

Michelle Boulay, a client at the Mercy Centre for seven years, also enjoys it there

“I love all the different opportunities we have. I love volunteering with Meals on Wheels,” Ms. Boulay said. “We have art class, movies, games and parties. It’s awesome.”

Michelle’s mother, Jill Boulay, said The Mercy Center has been a good program for her daughter.

“My daughter’s learning how to socialize better and be more patient, ” she said. “It’s been great.”

http://www.telegram.com/news/20170922/mercy-centre-in-worcester-resumes-seasonal-picnic

 

Real Deal Festival was a Real Success!

The Emerald Club was a Presenting Sponsor for the recent first annual Real Deal Festival in Worcester. This event was FREE to all who attended and catered to those who wouldn't normally be able to comfortably attend a music festival. The all day event provided a safe, exciting, and supportive music festival environment for individuals with special needs. The Worcester Center for Expressive Therapies provided the use of noise limiting head phones, UV sunglasses, and every attendee received a welcome bag full of fun items including a necklace, bubbles, maracas, and more! It was an incredible and humbling experience to see so many people come out (over 400!!!) to enjoy a day full of music, dancing, and fun! A special thank you to Kayla Daly and the WCET as well as the nonprofit Diamond Is The Sky for creating this event, and flawlessly executing an incredible event. The therapists from WCET provide Music and Art Therapy at the Mercy Centre. They have always been extremely supportive of the Emerald Club, and we’re so happy that we were able to be a part of this-hopefully- annual event. 

(Photos Courtesy of LaLa Lam at LaLa Photography)

A Quick Welcome and Update

10/4/16

Thank you for visiting our new and improved Emerald Club website. We will constantly be building and updating the site so please visit us often.

We'd like to give you an update on our events from 2015/2016. 

Thanks to generous volunteers and donors The Emerald Club had some very successful events this Fall/Winter. Beginning with our Holiday Tea in November. We welcomed over 150 women to the exquisitely decorated Wachusett Country Club for our Annual Ladies Holiday Tea. The ladies enjoyed passed appetizers, a delicious lunch, and a cash bar as they perused (and bid) on some fabulous Silent Auction items. Some of the highlights of the day were the Punch A Bunch, which will be back by popular demand this year, the Live Auction, where some women walked away with some absolutely amazing gifts donated by local community members, and of course the shopping! We had over a dozen local vendors selling their wares in the terrace room at the venue. Through the generosity of all who were present, and all who donated bottles of wine, silent auction items, gift cards, and more, we were able to raise over $15,000 for the Music and Arts Therapy Program at the Mercy Center. Please save the date for this year’s tea on November 13th, 2016, and tell your friends! We promise it will be a blast!

In March, we held our 59th Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Gala at the Wachusett Country Club.  Again, we had a wonderful time with great music, great food, and as the Irish would say great craic! Next March we will be celebrating our 60th Annual Gala with even bigger and better things planned, so please stay tuned for more information on that.

   And last but not least, our newest fundraising venture, the Emerald Club Beer Garden at the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. We were blessed with the most beautiful sunny day, we really couldn’t have asked for better weather in mid-March. Everyone had a great time, and we hope to have more people join us in the tent next year!