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Mental Health America of Westmoreland salutes Funari family

| Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Kim Stepinsky | for the Tribune-Review
(from right), Laurie Barnett Levine, Executive Director, Mental Health America of Westmoreland County, joins Josie Funari, representing the Funari Family, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, and David Shern, Interim President and CEO, Mental Health America and the evening's keynote speaker, at the Mental Health America of Westmoreland County Annual Dinner/Award Meeting, held at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in Hempfield Township on Thursday evening, October 24, 2013.
Kim Stepinsky | for the Tribune-Review
(from left), Honorary co-chairs, Richard and Joanna Stillwagon, join co-chairs, Judy Modecki and Molly Robb Shimko, at the Mental Health America of Westmoreland County Annual Dinner/Award Meeting, held at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in Hempfield Township on Thursday evening, October 24, 2013.

Mental Health America of Westmoreland celebrated 50 years and a founding family Oct. 24 at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in Hempfield.

Josie Funari and her son Brad accepted the first lifetime achievement award given by MHA of Westmoreland. The Funari family was lauded for its role as advocates for mental health care and services. The legacy began with patriarch Fred J. Funari, who was involved in founding MHA in Westmoreland in 1964. He founded out-patient clinics and served on the board in the 1960s.Funari's son, Chip Funari, died in June 2012. Josie, a MHA board member who began volunteering for the organization in the 1960s, met her husband-to-be at a MHA fundraiser in 1970.

The Funaris were presented the award by their friends, Richard and Joanna Stillwagon, who were introduced by Dr. Paul Niemiec, MHA of Westmoreland board president.

Also with the family was Chip's daughter, Jenny Anderson; his sister, Carol, and her husband, Dennis Radkowski; Brad's wife, Mira Funari; Dr. Christopher Radkowski and Kevin and Bobbe Jo Radkowski.

Keynote speaker Dr.David Shern, interim president and CEO of MHA, talked about national changes in medical care,improvements in science and the integration of mental health care with medical care.

“We stand on the shoulders of giants; this is our chance to get it right,” Shern said.

Seen: Barbara Flock, Eric and Michele Bononi, Chris Feliciani, Dave Delisi, James and Judy Modecki, Tony Marsili, Mary Ellen Tiberio, Arnold and Laurie Barnett Levine, Rebecca Valeri and Ron Weaver.

— Dawn Law

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