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Community's response to challenges faced by Genesis Behavioral Health was tremendous

To The Daily Sun,

'Tis the season of giving — and of giving thanks. We at Genesis Behavioral Health have much to be grateful for this year and would like to extend to you — our community — our heartfelt appreciation.

2016 was a year of celebration and challenge. You helped us commemorate 50 years of service to the community with a fundraising dinner at the annual meeting and signature fundraising event, the online auction. Both exceeding our expectations thanks to your support and participation.

We celebrated our growth as a community mental health center, noting that prior to Genesis' existence, mental health care was provided by Concord professionals reaching only 15 percent of those in need, and today we are serving nearly 4,000 Lakes Region residents. We celebrated improved access to care with transportation grants, the integration of physical and mental health care, the augmentation of managed care with umbrella programs delivering a full range of services to support those with mental illness, and the future of mental health care as it blends with technological advances to shine for a bright future.

The past year was also one of challenge. We faced financial and workforce challenges, a tenuous political climate, and an increase in the number of people in need of help from Genesis Behavioral Health and many of our community partners.

The community's response to these challenges was tremendous. You showed your support by giving your time, talents, and financial support. You acted as advocates for us when we needed a strong voice for mental health, a sector of health care that is so often silenced because of persistent stigma. You partnered and participated when asked as vital alleys. You supported our mission through in-kind donations and were most generous with donations to our auction.

These are uncertain times and it was humbling and heartwarming to witness the community's generosity and support throughout the auction and celebration. You donated, you bid, you contributed to a successful event that raised much-needed funds to support essential behavioral health care services for nearly 4,000 of our neighbors in the Lakes Region.

Sponsored by our Champion Sponsor, Bank of New Hampshire, with support provided by the Bank of New Hampshire Charitable Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and our many partners including Proforma Piper Printing, 104.9 The Hawk, 98.3 LNH, WEMJ, Genoa a QoL Healthcare Company, Northway Bank, Well Sense Health Plan, and The Standard, we exceeded our auction goal. Their support helped stretch a limited budget and ensured a lovely event for all in attendance. The support of the business community is key to our work. We are grateful for all you do to contribute to our mission and we look forward to next year.

Our sincere thanks and appreciation go to the following businesses and individuals for donating items and services to the auction:

A Dream A Day, LLC, All My Life Jewelers, Awakening Chiropractic The Family Wellness Center, Bayside Service, Blue Tree Marketing, Board Members of Genesis Behavioral Health, Boomerang Used Furniture & Funky Stuff, Boston Red Sox, Brittany Maia, Carol Pierce, Castle in the Clouds, Chelsea Lemke, Ciao Pasta, Clients of Genesis Behavioral Health, Coppertoppe Inn & Retreat Center, Cottage Goods Shop at Cottage Place on Squam Lake, Covered Bridge Farm Table, Dawn Lacroix, Dean Zindler, Downtown Pizza, Ed Drury, Ed McFarland, EKAL Activity Center, Elaine Morrison, Ellen Olson, Fireside Inn & Suites – Gilford,

Also: Franklin Opera House, Franklin Savings Bank, Gabriel's Salon & Day Spa, Genesis Behavioral Health, Genesis Behavioral Health Adult Services Team, Genesis Behavioral Health Business Office, Genesis Behavioral Health Child and Family Services, Genesis Behavioral Health HR and QI Departments, Genesis Behavioral Health Supported Employment Team, George's Seafood & BBQ, Great New Hampshire Restaurants, Gunstock Mountain Resort, Harris Family Furniture, Hart's Turkey Farm, Hermit Woods Winery, Ippolito's Furniture Inc., Jannine and George Sutcliffe, Jean Cadrette, Jie Riel, LMT, John Kealey.

Also: Jordans Ice Creamery, Kelley White, Kil'n Time Art Studio, Kim Sperry, Lakes Region Community College, Lithermans Brewery, Liz Merry, Logan Lights, Lori and Ray Boelig, Lori Ann Chandler Independent Hair Designer, Lynne Pedersen, Maggie Pritchard, Meredith Village Savings Bank, Mill Falls at the Lake, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Patrick's Pub & Eatery, Plymouth Animal Hospital, Prescott's Florist, LLC, Rhino Bike Works, Rick Hagen, Robin White, Shackett's Brewing Company, Shibleys at the Pier, Shooter's Tavern & Pizzaria, Side Trax Jewelry, Silver Screen Salon, Snap Fitness, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.

Also: Staff of Genesis Behavioral Health, Story Land, Sue Drolet, Sunshine Fisk, Susan Stearns, Sweets Jeannie, Tanger Outlet Center, Tenney Mountain Pizza, Teresa Taylor, Terri Potter, The Common Man Family of Restaurants, The Fitness Edge, The Galleria Salon & Day Spa, The Margate on Winnipesaukee, The Studio, The Wine'ing Butcher, Tina Hayes, and Zulu Nyala Game Lodge.

Maggie Pritchard, Executive Director

Genesis Behavioral Health

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Trump's campaign has emboldened the dregs of American society

To The Daily Sun,

Although Hillary Clinton clobbered Herr Trumpf by more than 1 million votes and only 29 percent polled say he has a mandate, the Year of Broken Glass continues with his appointment of Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist. Bannon is an out-of-the-closet fascist who speaks for the most despicable elements of society: anti-Semites, misogynists, white nationalists, anti-immigrant extremists, anti-LGBTQ bigots, and Muslim haters. Trump's campaign emboldened the dregs of America just as the Brexit vote did. Hate crimes spiked in the UK.

The FBI is also reporting a spike in hate crimes and that includes anti-Muslim harassment and violence being up 67 percent; the highest rate since 9/11. The SPLC has listed 437 such incidents since Election Day, as of this writing. In East Hampton, Massachusetts, volunteers hiked to the top of Mount Tom to remove racist graffiti and swastikas. In Hell's Kitchen, a man told a fellow employee that if Hillary won, he would shoot him. At Ohio State, a student barreled into a man giving an anti-Trump protest speech and sent him down several stairs. The student was charged and indefinitely suspended. In Florida, a pickup truck covered with Trump bumper stickers, flying a large confederate flag weaving in traffic was chasing a car with two young blacks in it. When the car stopped to ask why, the Trump fan got out with a baseball bat and threatened them.

Chili's gives Veterans free meals on Veterans Day but at the Cedar Hill, Texas, location, African American veteran Ernest Walker was rudely challenged by a man in a Trump shirt. The Trump bigot persuaded the manager to take his meal away. Walker says he has never seen this level of racism. Well, Trump. Chili's has apologized and the manager has been "removed."

At the SMU campus in Dallas, racist fliers, titled "Why White Women Shouldn't Date Black Men," were found. In Oregon, a black woman was struck with a brick which broke several ribs. She was then threatened with rape by a group of Trump thugs. According to KOIN, Kara Stevens claims, "They yelled 'Are you scared? Are you scared now? Because you should be. Now we got a president who finally feels how we feel.'" Police are investigating this as a hate crime.

In Seattle, Councilwoman Kshama Sawant has called for demonstrations in D.C. during the inauguration of Trump to "tell America we do not accept a racist agenda." She received a flood of angry emails and phone calls. One caller told a staffer, "I will come and tattoo a swastika on your head and on that [b-word's] head." The emails were just as bad.

In a dugout in Wellsville, New York, a message was scrawled around a swastika saying, "Make America White Again." Only hours after that at the SUNY campus in Geneseo, someone spray-painted a swastika and the word "Trump" on a dorm. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, police are investigating reports a man who approached a Muslim student and threatened to set her on fire with a lighter unless she removed her hijab. "At New York University's Tandon School of Engineering, students discovered Trump's name written on the door to a prayer room for Muslims on Wednesday, school officials said" (CNN).

At a high school in Minnesota, students discovered: "Trump," "Whites only," "White America" and "Go back to Africa," scrawled in the bathroom. At San Diego State University, two men accosted a young Muslim woman in a traditional garment and hijab, made (pro-)Trump remarks, grabbed her purse and backpack and stole her car. A day after the election, "Black lives don't matter and neither does your votes" was scrawled on a wall in Durham, North Carolina. A faculty member at a Pasco County, Florida, high school told a group of African-American students standing in a hallway, "Don't make me call Donald Trump to get you sent back to Africa."

Capital University student Brittany Daughenbaugh of North Baltimore was assaulted by two white men wearing Trump clothing last week. "Don't you worry, honey. President Trump says this is okay." She was then punched her in the face and the arm. She fell, hit her head on the pavement and blacked out.

The Year of Broken Glass continues.

James Veverka

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